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Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson encouraged by win at Bolton

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Hodgson happy with Liverpool progress

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson hopes the hard-fought 1-0 victory at Bolton will kick-start his team's season.

The Reds moved from the Premier League relegation zone to 12th following an 86th-minute winner from Maxi Rodriguez.

Hodgson said: "I'm beginning to realise there is grit in the team as the wins against Blackburn and Bolton show we are capable of standing up to the test.

"I'm hoping we'll be able to build on that and get ourselves back to where we think Liverpool FC belongs."

On 24 October, Hodgson's team emerged victorious from a physical encounter with Sam Allardyce's Blackburn and the former Fulham boss was pleased his side showed similar character to win at the Reebok Stadium.

"You know there are going to be a lot of long throws, a lot of long goal kicks, the two front players are going to back into your centre-halves and try to pressure them into mistakes," he added.

"You know they are going to be very quick on to the second ball, so before you even think about playing you've got to win your fair share of battles.

We should have had two penalties - Coyle

"When you get the ball you've got to try and pass it and I think that's what we did throughout the game. We got ourselves into good positions in their half of the field many times in both halves and fortunately one of them paid off.

"It's been a good spell, I always knew we were capable of this spell and also always knew that the clouds would pass but we've still got a lot of work to, we've got a lot of injuries at the moment."

Liverpool owner John W Henry, who heads the American company, New England Sports Ventures, that took over the Anfield outfit in October, insisted last week he had no intention of selling the club's best players.

He stated: "We intend to build on the strength of the current squad, not undermine it."

Hodgson underlined this following the win against Bolton and stated: "I can only emphasis to our fans that we are still thinking about restructuring.

"There's a lot of work for the new owners to do to help us in this respect but I think they will be happy at least that they have got a group of players who've got a lot of fight, spirit determination and a lot of quality."

After a Europa League match at home to Napoli on Thursday, Liverpool face Premier League leaders Chelsea at home on Sunday.

"At least we go into that with 12 points, which is a hell of lot better than nine!" said Hodgson. "It will be a fantastic atmosphere at Anfield. We're not playing that badly and we'll give them a good game."

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Meanwhile, midfielder Joe Cole could miss that match against his former club after being forced off against Bolton with a hamstring injury.

Hodgson commented: "He said it was just a tweak and we don't think it is too serious but, as with all muscle injuries, we won't know until he has had a scan."

Bolton manager Owen Coyle was understandably unhappy with the result and said: "I don't think we deserved to lose the game.

"The application and effort was first class and I thought we dominated the game for long periods without having too many clear-cut opportunities.

"But I thought we had a penalty in the first half from a clear handball from Jamie Carragher, possibly a penalty in the second half for the push on Kevin Davies.

"These are the margins in the Barclays Premier League that you have to come out on the right side of and unfortunately for us it's a cruel ending."



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see also
Bolton 0-1 Liverpool
31 Oct 10 |  Premier League


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