Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hodgson: Competing with Dalglish ´wasn´t easy´

West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson bares no grudge against former employers Liverpool ahead of their clash on Saturday.

Hodgson had a disappointing few months in charge of Liverpool before vacating the Anfield hot seat in January.

“There is no vindication factor with Liverpool at all. I enjoyed my time at Liverpool, well to say I enjoyed the time would not be strictly true. I respected my time there,” he said on Friday.

“I was treated correctly in every respect by the club. I had a very good relationship with the players, who I thought did their very best for me.”

“It did not work out either for them or for me during that period of time and I’m very pleased to see it is working out for them now.”

Kenny Dalglish has since taken over the reins at Anfield – a popular choice as he won three league championships in his previous stint in charge of the club.

Dalglish expressed an interest in taking over and Hodgson admitted it was tough having someone so well thought of waiting to jump in the lead role.

“It’s difficult to compete with an icon. I came into the right club but perhaps I didn’t come at the right time because Kenny did make it clear at the time that he wanted the job. When things didn’t go well, having him in the background wasn’t easy,” Hodgson admitted.

“It wouldn’t have been easy for any manager. There’s always someone in the wings who is a little bit of an icon ready to take over if the results don’t go their way.”

With West Brom just one point clear of the relegation zone, Hodgson stressed the importance of the fixture.

“It’s another game – but it means a lot because we only have eight games left and each one means a lot. Of course I desperately hope it is not going to work out for Liverpool tomorrow afternoon,” he said.

“After those 90 minutes I can go back to wishing them well and hoping they finish as high in the league as possible.”

“My time at Liverpool is over and I’m very happy in my job here. I’m disappointed of course that I did not get the full three years I was hoping for but I have been in football long enough to know sometimes that’s what happens – especially when there is a change of ownership during your time at the club.”

“I was realistic, I knew the risk and I am still disappointed it did not work out but I have no bad feelings about Liverpool as a city. Certainly I don’t have any bad feelings about the football club and the people I worked with.”

Midfielder Graham Dorrans (ankle) will definitely miss the game.

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