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Feb 15, 2011

Hodgson "wounded" by Liverpool stint

Roy Hodgson has opened up on his ill-fated stint at Liverpool, revealing he feels "wounded" by what was his worst six months as a manager.

• West Brom appoint Hodgson
• Roy's early chance at redemption

Hodgson is back in football just 37 days after being shown the exit door at Anfield in charge of West Brom. He prefers to look to the future rather than reflect on his spell with the Reds. But Hodgson is honest enough to concede his pride was hurt although his self belief has not been affected.

Hodgson said: "I didn't feel drained but you do feel wounded. I have had a very good spell in my career and it's a long time since I have had a very serious knock-back so, when it comes, it wounds you.

"You wouldn't be human if it didn't but it hasn't dented any confidence or belief. But I can't lie and say it didn't hurt me, or I didn't care, because, of course, I care. I care very passionately about my job and I care about football and I have had an awful lot of praise. So, when you get the opposite, it's not something you particularly embrace, but, if you've got half a brain, you accept that as being part of the job or par for the course.''

Hodgson admits he feared his days at Liverpool would be numbered after the departure of owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett and feels more wanted by the Baggies.

He said: "The people who wanted me at Liverpool didn't last too long. The people who employed me didn't stay for too long. The new owners found themselves in a difficult situation because we weren't winning enough games and the fans were making it perfectly clear they wanted me gone and somebody else in. To be fair to them, they were in a very difficult situation. I can't for one minute suggest I was wanted at Liverpool.

"But hopefully everyone will accept this club made a considerable effort to get me and worked hard to persuade me to come and try to help preserve the status so, of course, I feel much more wanted. But I have been lucky. I felt wanted at Fulham and there aren't that many clubs where I haven't felt wanted.''

Hodgson added: "We were doing quite well at one stage but then got two bad results but that is the league this year. If we had won those two, which under normal circumstances we could quite possibly have done, we would have been in the top five or six and been alright - but we lost them.

"But that was on the back of a lot of other things and you just have to accept that these things happen to you in football. It's not what you want but I have nothing negative at all to say about my time at Liverpool. The players were excellent and the staff were excellent and it would have been a magnificent time if we'd won more matches but we didn't win them.''

Hodgson is hoping to perform the same sort of rescue act he achieved at Fulham four years ago in keeping Albion in the top flight. He can also see similarities between the way the two clubs are run.

He said: "I think the way Jeremy Peace (chairman) wants to run this club and, with the way Mohamed Al Fayed wanted to run Fulham, there are direct similarities. Both of them want success, both of them want the very best, and they want to do it by not bankrupting the club or walking away and leaving the club in an awful mess. I think the husbandry of this club up to now has been very good.

"Even when they have not retained Premier League status, they have kept their heads and got back up again which is very laudable. Fulham have shown similar consistency and restraint but they've had the good fortune, when it looked like they were going down, to survive by the skin of their teeth. As a result the foundations got stronger. I am sure here the foundations will get stronger if we can put a number of years back to back in the Premier League behind us.''

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