Liverpool capable of much better in 2011, says Hodgson
Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson hopes to sign off a disappointing 2010 on a high note against Mick McCarthy's struggling Wolves at Anfield tonight, as he looks to a prosperous New Year.
The last 12 months have been eventful both on and off the field for the Merseysiders.
Results have been on the slide ever since the Reds began 2010 with a third-round FA Cup exit to Championship side Reading.
Having finished a disappointing seventh in the Premier League, manager Rafael Benitez was dispensed with and Roy Hodgson drafted in as his replacement.
In the wake of intense speculation about the futures of star players Fernando Torres, Jose Reina and Steven Gerrard, the new appointment did not produce the expected bounce back in terms of performances.
However, since the £300m sale of the club to New England Sports Ventures in October, a degree of stability has returned to Anfield.
And while Liverpool are still a long way off the pace of Champions League qualification, Hodgson is hopeful the worst is now behind them.
"I get the feeling every day the players are committed to the club and will work hard to do a bit better in 2011 than they have done in 2010," said the manager.
"They are capable of it and I am really anxious to work with them and help them with it. I have no fears in that respect. Everyone is anxious to make 2011 a better year than 2010.
"The club -- the players and the staff -- dealt with the takeover situation very well. We didn't use it as an excuse, although I'm not certain we needed it as an excuse because I don't think we were playing as well at that stage.
"We have got better as a team with all the work we are putting in and we are getting better, but it is results that count.
"Every day is exciting for me. Every day I realise I am privileged to be in the position of football manager and even more privileged to be manager of one of the biggest clubs in Europe.
"I would hope that I would never be found guilty of not saying it is a privilege. I am really looking forward to the challenge of 2011 with this team, who I feel are capable of much better things than in 2010."
One of Liverpool's problems this season is that they have not been able to put together a long run of good results.
Having beaten West Ham and Aston Villa at home and been unlucky to concede a last-minute winner at Tottenham, they then went and lost at Newcastle.
The defeat at St James' Park was their last outing in the Premier League, as subsequent matches against Fulham and Blackpool fell victim to the cold weather.
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