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Jan 8, 2011

Thompson: Fans key to Hodgson exit

Liverpool legend Phil Thompson believes that Roy Hodgson had no future at the club once he had lost the supporters.

• Hodgson leaves Liverpool

Thompson said he had never before seen the Liverpool fans so unified in opposition to a manager, including Graeme Souness' ill-fated spell at the helm in the early 90s.

He described the fans' stance against Hodgson as "unprecedented'' - but also said that he felt the former Fulham boss had not been given enough time to mould the team in his own vision.

"Six months is not long enough, not just for Liverpool but for all managers,'' Thompson told Sky Sports News. "Everybody should have a chance.

"What we've seen at Liverpool in the last month has been unprecedented, unparalleled in the way the fans have turned. Even in the dark days of Graeme Souness' reign, there were no universal chants for Graeme to go.

"Liverpool fans felt as though we were different, we don't do things like that, we stick together and we stick with the club. Now the fans had even started taking the mickey out of their own manager, chanting 'You're getting sacked in the morning'. That is incredible.''

Another former Liverpool defender, four-time European Cup winner Phil Neal, hopes Kenny Dalglish can restore some unity at Anfield after being put in charge of the team until the end of the season.

"With the fixtures coming thick and fast we've got to be a unit and Kenny would be the first man to stand in and maybe create a bit of the old type of togetherness along with the fans,'' Neal said. "It's the right stop-gap thing. He's a quality person, knows all about togetherness ... the body language of some of our players was concerning to all the Liverpool ex-players because they didn't look like they enjoyed playing with each other.

"That's concerning because other clubs have gone down the leagues because they've sacked their manager and can't find a better one. I hope that's not the case with Liverpool.''

Ray Houghton, one of the best signings of Dalglish's first spell in charge, believes the Scot will relish the challenge of returning to the Anfield hotseat: "Kenny is an iconic figure at Liverpool, both as a player and a manager. He has got unfinished business, no doubt about it.

"If you sat down with Kenny I am sure he would tell you he would love to take the job on on a permanent deal, and be there for the long term. He has still got a great affiliation with the Liverpool fans and there is nothing he would love more than to come back at this stage and be a major success. I really hope so.

"I hope Kenny can come in and energise the squad. I am sure he will by his name alone and I think he will put a few smiles on people's faces. I think maybe Roy lost the fans. When you read those quotes about fans not getting behind him - that was a decision that backfired on him.

"Plus when you arrive at the training ground and see 'Hodgson out' - once you see that the fans are well offside with you, you have virtually no chance.''

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