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Page last updated at 09:45 GMT, Monday, 4 October 2010 10:45 UK

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson concerned by relegation form

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First-half display disappoints Hodgson

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson admitted his side are currently in a relegation battle but said he is more concerned by the form of some of his players.

The Reds were beaten 2-1 at home by Blackpool and are now third from bottom of the Premier League.

Hodgson said: "There are 31 games left but when you are in the relegation zone you are in a relegation battle.

"But I really don't think my concerns are with relegation, my concerns are we are not playing to our full potential."

When asked if six points from seven games was unacceptable, Hodgson replied: "Yes of course it is. This is Liverpool. We are a big club and big team and none of us would accept it is a correct total.

"We can't do anything about that now but we certainly have to work very hard to do better in the future."

Liverpool went behind to a Charlie Adam penalty and a Luke Varney strike and, despite a second-half rally which saw Sotirios Kyrgiakos pull one back for the Reds, Blackpool held on for a famous victory.

Hodgson added: "Their great result is our nightmare result. It is a very bad day and there is nothing I can say.

"At the moment things look bleak and really bad and it is difficult for me to put a bright face upon it.

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"In the first half we were correctly punished for a lacklustre display. We had the ball as much as them but did not do anything with it anywhere near enough to satisfy my, the club's or the players' demands.

"We conceded two goals on counter-attacks but in the second half we came out and tried to turn matters around but could only get one goal."

Liverpool's disastrous start to the season, their worst since the Premier League began, has also seen them eliminated from the Carling Cup with a defeat at home by League Two Northampton.

Hodgson also had to contend with supporters calling out Kenny Dalglish's name during the game on Sunday. The former player, who has an ambassadorial role at the club, was reported to have been keen on the manager's job before Hodgson was appointed this summer.

Dalglish was at the match and would have witnessed the team being booed off at the end of the game.

But Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt is confident the players can turn things around.

"It is still early days for the manager and we have to keep working but one thing I do know if that we will come back stronger for this experience," he said.

Following the international break, Liverpool's next game is the Merseyside derby at Goodison Park against Everton.

Kuyt added: "It's frustrating that we have got the international break now because we will have this result hanging over us and everyone in the dressing room wants to put it behind us as quickly as possible."

Holloway keeping feet firmly on the ground

On Match of the Day 2 former Liverpool defender Alan Hansen called the result a "disgrace" and said the club's past glories counted for nothing.

"If that performance came when they were top of the league it was bad but third bottom - it's a disgrace," he said.

"Forget about history and tradition, forget about the honours and the manager, it's all about the players."

Kuyt admitted it was one of his worst times in a Liverpool shirt.

"It's probably one of the hardest defeats I've had to take since I've been here and we're sorry for the fans.

"The first thing we have got to do is make sure we start winning games again and then we can begin to take things from there," the Dutchman said.

Liverpool were not helped with striker Fernando Torres having to go off after 10 minutes against Blackpool because of an injury.

"It is a groin strain, I don't know how severe," said Hodgson. "It came as a surprise to us, we had no awareness there were any problems in the groin area.

"I don't know if it was something which happened during the course of the game."

Blackpool manager Ian Holloway revealed the exit of Torres gave his side a lift on an emotional day for him.

"To see the best striker in the world limp off after a few minutes, I can't tell you what that did for us," said Holloway, whose side were applauded off by some of the Anfield faithful.



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see also
Holloway savours Liverpool shock
03 Oct 10 |  Blackpool
Liverpool 1-2 Blackpool
03 Oct 10 |  Premier League
Hodgson - form not acceptable
03 Oct 10 |  Liverpool


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