Tuesday 12 December 2017

Hodgson keeps focus on football

This week may be the start of a new era for Liverpool with the ownership issue having been resolved, but manager Roy Hodgson accepts future planning has to take a back seat to more pressing matters on the field.

New England Sports Ventures completed their £300m takeover on Friday and they are now looking at all aspects of the club to see where improvements can be made.

But, despite the hope of having a significant budget to spend come January, Hodgson is focusing on football matters.

After a fourth Premier League defeat in eight matches left the club 19th in the table, Liverpool have to face Napoli away from home in the Europa League on Thursday before hosting Blackburn on Sunday.

That is of more concern to Hodgson than a transfer window which is more than two months away.

"I think the owners will be very interested in sitting down and planning things and the club can take comfort in the fact they are moving into a period of stability - it is badly needed," he said.

"There are a lot of things that still need sorting out on a level outside of the football field and they will certainly help there.

"They will finds ways and means of aiding us in those areas but when it comes to us playing we've got the players we have and we have to keep working with them and hopefully they will win some games.

"The transfer window is two and a half months off and there is a lot of football to be played so there is no point in us in trying to put our eggs in the basket of the January transfer window.

"The first thing we have to do is start winning matches and if we can do that and get in a better position and the owners can find the way to back us in the transfer window to improve the team we will obviously do so.

"The transfer window is something which interests us, and we will have to do our scouting work, but it is not something which interests me in the coming week.

"What does interest me is preparing for Napoli and then Blackburn - in particular it is the Blackburn game we need to win."

Hodgson has a two-fold problem at the moment in that the side are conceding goals but are not scoring enough.

In the league Liverpool have scored seven goals and let in 14 in eight matches.

The manager knows he has to find a way of increasing the former while reducing the latter but does not believe one aspect has to suffer in order for the other to benefit.

"It is a problem we are letting in goals but with the offensive line-up we have that is going to be a risk," he said.

"Basically we need to score goals to take pressure off the fact we could let them in.

"Good teams score goals and don't let many in as we see Chelsea doing topping the table.

"They manage to score goals without letting them in and that is what have got to be trying to do as well.

"I'm not prepared to suggest we need to offer something for something else (ie: defensive solidity at the expense of goalscoring). We need to get better in both areas."

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