Hodgson wants to keep changes at a minimum
Published 02/07/2010 | 13:47
New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson does not anticipate having a major rebuilding job on his hands at Anfield and fully believes he can bring trophies back to the club.
However, he has stressed he cannot hope to do that without quality players - both those he has inherited and some he will look to bring in.
Much has been made of what a parlous state the Reds seem to find themselves in after their worst Premier League finish for 11 years (seventh), an early Champions League exit and, off the field, being in £351million of debt.
But the 62-year-old is experienced enough to recognise, even at this early stage, that it may not take wholesale changes to get things back on track.
With injuries and loss of form affecting key personnel - most notably Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard - this season could be written off as a "blip".
Previous boss Rafael Benitez's departure had as much, if not more, to do with his constant battles with the hierarchy off the field than it did with issues on it.
Hodgson is confident if he can hang on to the likes of Torres and Gerrard - and that may be a big if - he can start having a positive effect almost immediately.
"I hope it is not a rebuilding process," said the former Fulham boss, who is reportedly working with a transfer budget of just £15million.
"It is well documented there is uncertainty about star players but I am confident we will deal with that situation and we won't lose any star players.
"That is my hope and my aim and if I can bring it about hopefully we will be able to add to the squad.
"I am pretty sure everyone at the club will agree with me when I say our task is to keep hold of the very good players we have and find some other good players to complement them.
"If we are really going to achieve the goals that Liverpool must always set we are not going to do that on organisation alone, we are going to do it on the quality of players.
"We haven't discussed transfer budgets in any great detail, this is not the right time to talk about that.
"The financial situation at many clubs is not what they want it to be and I know the chairman in particular is working really hard to put that right."
Hodgson is viewed by many as a safe pair of hands, a man to bring stability to a club which had more leaks than the Titanic and was beset by rumours of in-fighting among the power figures.
He may not be a name to set pulses racing but what he achieved with Fulham in taking them all the way to the Europa League final, combined with his vast experience with other European clubs, has earned him a reputation for being an efficient operator.
Hodgson is no Jose Mourinho, no Benitez for that matter, but what he does provide is commitment and a sense of security and he is quite happy with that tag.
"I would have thought stability and having a reputation of someone who can provide stability is not faint praise, I think it is quite high praise," said the first Englishman to manage a 'big four' club since, coincidentally, Roy Evans lost his job at Anfield in 1998.
"I regard myself as a coach who works very hard to produce winning football teams.
"That is what I have been doing for 35 years and long may it continue.
"All football managers' major task is to organise the team so you get the best out of the individuals.
"What clubs of this stature require of course are the quality of the players that can bring about the results the club want.
"Organisation alone unfortunately won't do that because the team has been well organised for some time: it was well organised under Gerard Houllier and it was well organised under Rafael Benitez.
"Sometimes when the best players are not available to you the organisation can stand you in good stead and maybe help you get results you wouldn't have otherwise.
"But I am confident that as long as the quality of players remains at the level it should be for Liverpool and as long as we continue to maintain the traditions of a good work ethos, players sweating blood for the shirt and never letting fans down, I see no reason why we can't win things in the future.
"But I can't pretend that the current situation is not somewhat different to the situations that maybe Rafa and Gerard had when they came to the club.
"My job to some extent will be initially to steady the ship but there is no doubt our ambitions remain as high as they ever were."