Roy Hodgson relieved after Liverpool win over Blackburn
Roy Hodgson relieved with Liverpool win
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson said he was relieved his team earned a vital 2-1 win over Blackburn which will do much to improve the anxiety around the team.
Fernando Torres scored the winner after a Jamie Carragher own goal cancelled out Sotirios Kyrgiakos' headed opener.
The Reds remain in the Premier League's bottom three but Hodgson said: "There is a little bit of relief.
"But if we had got anything less than three points today it would have been an enormous injustice."
Blackburn were thankful to goalkeeper Paul Robinson, who pulled off a string of saves, to keep Rovers in a game during which they had very few chances.
Torres and captain Steven Gerrard were two of six players who came into the side after being rested for Liverpool's midweek Europa League trip to Napoli, and Hodgson would have been content with a first-half performance during which Liverpool should have scored.
But they had to wait until the 48th minute to take the lead and they made life difficult for themselves when they conceded two minutes later, before Torres struck with his first goal since August to seal their second league win of the season.
Allardyce blames player absence
"The way the team played they certainly deserved to win this game," Hodgson told BBC Sport.
"At half-time I said to the players, you can't play better than that, you can't do better than that, if you keep getting the ball into goalscoring positions as often as we did in the first half, something is going to break for us and it happened very quickly for us in the second half.
"There is a lot of anxiety in the team and in the club because we have started so badly... and you can't take that anxiety away until we start winning games and start climbing the table.
"But we're human beings and we want to do very well, we want to show our fans that we are a good football team.
"For all the nonsense that has been spoken about, they are still capable of going out and giving a performance which, I think, was more worthy of a team at the top of the table than the bottom of the table."
Hodgson also singled out Torres for a performance which he says he knew was due.
"I think we saw a Fernando Torres which showed the sort of commitment which he has been criticised for perhaps not always showing," the Reds boss added. "He has had a bad period but he is getting out of that bad period now and playing better and better.
"We have seen that coming, we see it in training and in everything he does but what he needed, of course, was a good game behind him where everyone else sees it.
"Today everyone going away from this game will say he was very good in the game, not just because he scored a goal, but because his all round performance was so dominant."
Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce agreed with Hodgson that his team deserved little from the game but lamented his missing centre-backs Chris Samba, who was suspended and the injured Ryan Nelsen.
"Last season they were the foundation on which we could build our results on and today they were both missing and it was key factor in terms of Liverpool winning the game," Allardyce told BBC Sport.
"Irrespective of how many chances Liverpool created in the first half it was just two simple corners that we didn't defend correctly that allowed them to get 1-0 up and get back to 2-1.
Goal will boost Torres confidence - Gerrard
"Our goal was against the run of play but we should have done better, certainly on the second goal because had we kept ourselves in the game at that stage, you could feel the trepidation again [around Anfield].
"Paul Robinson kept us in the game in the first half, there is no doubt about that... and he played a massive part in making sure we got in at half-time at 0-0 which gave us the chance to tell the lads that they needed to get better all over the pitch.
"We didn't compete as well as we know we can but part of the problem is that the squad is not quite big enough to cope at to Anfield without big key players like Chris Samba and Ryan Nelsen."
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