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Page last updated at 11:34 GMT, Friday, 31 December 2010

Roy Hodgson regrets comments about Liverpool fans


I did not intend to attack Liverpool fans - Hodgson

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has said sorry to fans for any offence caused by his comments after the home defeat by Wolves and vowed he will not quit.

The club's eighth league loss of the season to the relegation scrappers on Wednesday was greeted by boos, leading Hodgson to call for more backing.

"I'm disappointed and I certainly regret if I have offended them in any way," Hodgson said on Friday.

"The last thing in my mind is walking away from a club like this," he added.

In the closing stages of the defeat by Wolves, who had not previously won away all season, fans sarcastically chanted "Hodgson for England" and sang the name of former boss Kenny Dalglish.

Following the match, Hodgson appeared to suggest their energy would be better directed to getting behind the team.


"I have to hope the fans will become supporters because we need support. We are not deliberately losing games," he said.

But speaking at a scheduled news briefing ahead of Saturday's crucial home match against Bolton, Hodgson suggested his words had been "misinterpreted."

"It was not meant to be an offensive comment in any way," the 63-year-old said.

"I was responding to a question about how it felt to be jeered by fans, making it clear it hurts me and I was disappointed by it because no-one wants to feel they are unpopular.

"I was taking responsibility and prepared to accept that I would be in the firing line. I'm very disappointed if that has been transformed into me attacking the fans.

"I understand it is up to me to take it on the chin but it's not been an easy ride for me. It's been an uphill struggle and I was not the first choice appointment with a lot of fans."

Hodgson, who joined Liverpool from Fulham in July 2010, has presided over Liverpool's worst start to a season in more than half a century.

Hodgson accepts criticism after defeat

The 18-time league champions are 12th in the table with 22 points from 18 games, their lowest total going into the new year since the 1953-54 season, which ended in relegation.

The Reds were also dumped out of the Carling Cup after a home defeat on penalties to League Two side Northampton and slumped to a new low with their first defeat to Wolves in 27 years.

Hodgson said he understood why fans were so unhappy with the team and their manager.

"Fans always have the right to show their anger and disapproval - we've got fantastic fans but you have to give them something to be passionate about and we didn't do that on Wednesday," he added.

"I don't think they were happy with anyone and as manager you are first in the firing line.

"The Anfield support will always be there and what's more it's better in times of crisis."

Several of Friday's newspapers suggested Liverpool owners New England Sports Ventures are running out of patience with Hodgson, with some reports suggesting the former Blackburn boss was on the verge of walking out.

But Hodgson insisted he was determined to ride out the storm and was confident he could bring success to the club if he is given time.

Houllier says Liverpool must back Hodgson

"It's taken me a long while to get to this elevated position coaching one of best clubs in Europe," he said.

"I was really pleased to get the job and left a good job to take it. The last thing in my mind is walking away from a club like this or even walking away from football.

"I want to be here. I want to change things and help the club and the new owners get the success for the club they want.

"I can only beg for patience and the time it will take to do it.

"I'm confident that given time, with the competencies I know I have, the players we have at the club and the possibility of adding to that in future transfer windows, this club will once again be up at the top."

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see also
Hodgson makes plea to angry fans
30 Dec 10 |  Liverpool
Liverpool 0-1 Wolves
29 Dec 10 |  Premier League
Wednesday's football as it happened
29 Dec 10 |  Football

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