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Jan 4, 2011

Hodgson seeks transfer backing

Roy Hodgson has underlined his ambition to make changes to the Liverpool squad in the transfer window and "stamp his philosophy" on the team.

Transfer blog: Red revolution
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• Latest January moves

Hodgson has come under heavy pressure in recent times, with Liverpool failing to deliver consistent performances and the manager having failed to secure the support of a significant number of the fans.

Liverpool have made a number of signings since Hodgson replaced Rafael Benitez, with Milan Jovanovic, Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles and Paul Konchesky all having arrived in the summer.

Hodgson, though, has not had full responsibility for signings at the club and previously indicated that Poulsen, Meireles and Konchesky were the players he had been "happy to bring to the club".

The arrival of Damien Comolli as director of football strategy suggests Hodgson will not have full control over any transfers in January, either, but he has asked the owners to show faith in his judgment.

"Being honest about it, I am hoping that one day I will get a chance to stamp a little more of my authority and philosophy on the team by choosing some more of the players," Hodgson said.

"It is not often mentioned, but I have not been that active in the transfer market since I have been here. The players who are playing are the ones you have watched playing for the past few years.

"They have done exceptionally well for me in accepting a new manager, with a new style and a new training method, and giving the performances they have given, albeit that unfortunately we have been guilty of inconsistency."

Hodgson's difficult tenure at Anfield has been made more difficult as a result of the injury problems that have plagued Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard.

"If we are going to win games, it is the Torreses, the Gerrards, the [Pepe] Reinas, that are going to be the ones to get us up the table and lift us above the rest," he said.

"Fernando had a very serious knee injury, which - touch wood - seems to be in the past, but when you have had an injury there is always the little risk of recurrence, and Steven, of course, is susceptible to muscle injury if he plays too many games one after the other.

"I have just got to hope that the ones who just seem to keep going - the Duracell bunnies like Dirk Kuyt and Lucas Leiva - can keep us going and give me a chance of giving a rest to the others.

"But it is the same for all the teams in the league. We have got a couple of matches [rearranged], which doesn't help, but a lot of teams do.

"But going into it our squad seems quite big and we probably have a little bit more chance of changing things around than some other teams do."

Meanwhile, Borussia Dortmund boss Jurgen Klopp has denied he has been contacted over his availability to succeed Hodgson.

"There has been no approach and there's no point talking about it," he said in The Guardian.

Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke added: "There's been no official approach because it would be a waste of time.

"Everybody knows there's no chance we'd let him go. We can but laugh [about this story]. Jurgen is a friend of mine and he has a contract until 2014. He would never break it."

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