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Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson insists he will not resign

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson
Hodgson has struggled to turn around Liverpool's fortunes

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson insists he will not quit the club despite his side's poor start to the season.

The Reds are 19th in the Premier League having won only one of their eight league games under Hodgson.

But the Merseysiders are top of Europa League Group K after they earned a 0-0 draw against Napoli on Thursday.

"Resignation has never once entered my thoughts and never will. I'm here for the long haul," declared Hodgson after the match.

"I came here believing I can help Liverpool rebuild. The players are behind everything we're doing."

Hodgson included several youngsters in a side which earned a hard-fought point at Napoli, with the Reds boss having left Steven Gerrard, Fernando Torres, Raul Meireles and Lucas Leiva back home ahead of the Premier League game against Blackburn at Anfield on Sunday.

Hodgson has endured a tough time since leaving Fulham in the summer to take charge at Liverpool and he is under pressure to turn things around at Anfield, especially following the takeover of the Merseysiders by New England Sports Ventures.

"We're going through a very bad passage in the league," stated the 63-year-old.

"Things haven't gone our way for a variety of reasons and that's why we find ourselves down the bottom and desperate to get away.

"But the new owners have already done a little for the club, they've given us a lift.

"Even before the Everton game there was a new buoyancy and good feeling that we can get a lift.

All I can say how grateful we are for their support and how sympathetic and sad we were to hear they had been attacked

Hodgson on attacks on Reds fans

"On Sunday we have an opportunity but Blackburn will have something to say about that, but we've shown against Napoli that we're far from dead as a club and I know all the players who play on Sunday will be chomping at the bit to run and work and fight.

"I just hope the result will go our way to give us a bit of breathing space to move up the table instead of finding ourselves marooned at the bottom of the table."

Danish midfielder Christian Poulsen, who joined Liverpool from Juventus in the summer, backed his manager.

"I don't think you feel that he's really under pressure," said Poulsen. "He has a lot of experience, he's a really good motivator and I think we can turn it around together. Hopefully we can start on Sunday against Blackburn."

Meanwhile, Hodgson sympathised with the club's supporters and praised them for their behaviour, particularly after reports emerged that there had been attacks on Reds fans in Naples.

"I was aware and I was concerned [about the attacks]," he said.

"These supporters have done a fantastic job. It was always going to be tough asking them to come to Naples as they know they are coming to a potentially dangerous situation.

"All I can say is how grateful we are for their support and how sympathetic and sad we were to hear they had been attacked and some of them seriously.

"These are the things you don't want to see in football. We've had our share in England but you see it much less these days.

"We don't want violence on the pitch or off the pitch. We certainly don't want situations where supporters don't want to go and support their team because they are frightened of getting injured.

"In the news conference on Wednesday, a question was asked of me in Italian - and I answered in Italian - as to whether I was concerned drunken Liverpool supporters would cause trouble.

"I find it faintly amusing I should be defending Liverpool supporters when in fact they are peaceful people who come here to watch the game and some of them end up being stabbed."

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see also
Liverpool 'far from dead' - Hodgson
21 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Napoli 0-0 Liverpool
21 Oct 10 |  Europe
Hodgson backed by new owners NESV
17 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool owner to spend 'wisely'
18 Oct 10 |  Liverpool
Torres lacks confidence - Hodgson
17 Oct 10 |  Liverpool

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