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Roy Hodgson clings to job as Liverpool manager

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Defeat is a 'bitter blow' - Hodgson

By Dan Roan
BBC Sports News Correspondent

Roy Hodgson looks set to remain as Liverpool manager this weekend after the club's American owners took no decision over his future.

Hodgson was at the club's training ground on Friday but a media conference ahead of Sunday's FA Cup clash with Manchester United was later cancelled.

The club said it was "due to ongoing media speculation about his position".

But the 63-year-old's job remains in the balance following their 3-1 Premier League loss to Blackburn on Wednesday.

The loss left Liverpool 12th in league, four points above the relegation zone.

The former Fulham manager's future was the subject of a series of trans-Atlantic phone calls on Thursday, involving Liverpool's American owners the Fenway Sports Group, director of football strategy Damien Comolli and other senior officials.

606: DEBATE
Mike Henson - BBC Sport

Liverpool do not currently have a chief executive, which may partly explain the lack of a decision one way or the other, but Hodgson is expected to be replaced as soon as a successor is identified.

Club legend Kenny Dalglish, who many Liverpool fans want installed in Hodgson's place, is currently out of the country and is not expected to return until next week.

Hodgson, who took training as usual at the club's training ground in Melwood on Friday, will now have what appears to be one last chance to save his job, against rivals Manchester United.

Liverpool further explained that the cancelled media briefing was because they wanted the "focus to be on what is a hugely important game".

The former Blackburn boss replaced Rafael Benitez as manager at Anfield in July, but has struggled to win over the Liverpool fans so far this season, as the team have laboured in mid-table.

Earlier in the season the 18-time English champions suffered an embarrassing Carling Cup home defeat at the hands of League Two outfit Northampton, and face a two-legged tie against Sparta Prague in February after progressing past the group stage of the Europa League.

A win over United on Sunday would help Hodgson's case hugely, and go some way to making up for recent results such as the 1-0 home defeat by Wolves on 29 December.

After that game, Hodgson suggested frustrated fans would be better served by getting behind the team rather than on their backs, a comment which he was later forced to retract and apologise for.

Last weekend's last-gasp 2-1 win over Bolton seemed to buy Hodgson valuable breathing space, but the pressure on him returned following the loss at his former club Blackburn.

The former Inter Milan and Switzerland boss was appointed by Liverpool before the current owners, New England Sports Ventures, took over the club in October.



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see also
Stop scapegoating managers - LMA
06 Jan 11 |  Football
Hodgson refuses to discuss future
06 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Defeat is a bitter blow - Hodgson
05 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Blackburn 3-1 Liverpool
05 Jan 11 |  Premier League
Liverpool job interests Rangnick
04 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Players all behind Hodgson - Cole
02 Jan 11 |  Liverpool
Hodgson regrets plea to Reds fans
31 Dec 10 |  Liverpool


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