Coyle backs Hodgson for Reds success

Hodgson has endured a turbulent start to his career at Liverpool

since taking up the reins from Rafael Benitez over the summer. The

Reds recently endured a run of five matches without a victory that

included a humiliating defeat at home to Blackpool and a 2-0

reverse at Merseyside rivals Everton. Throw in a humbling penalty

shootout loss at home to npower League One side Northampton in the

Carling Cup and it is no wonder doubts have been raised about

Hodgson’s future. Hodgson has not been helped by the off-field

turmoil which had engulfed the club and recently saw former owners

Tom Hicks and George Gillett ousted by fellow American John W

Henry. At least a touch of relief came Hodgson’s way with last

Sunday’s 2-1 win at home to Blackburn, even if Liverpool remain in

the relegation zone ahead of this Sunday’s trip to Coyle’s Bolton.

Coyle, though, has no doubts Hodgson is the man to revitalise the

currently ragged Reds. “Liverpool are very much a team in a

transitional period, and it was always going to be difficult for

any manager,” said Coyle. “Roy has come in and he is an outstanding

manager, always has been, and everywhere he has been across the

world he has done a fantastic job. “Look at the job he did last

season at Fulham where he was manager of the year. “All Roy Hodgson

needs is time because there is no doubt in my opinion he will turn

Liverpool into the force they have been known for, a club that will

challenge for honours year in year out. “People have to give

balance to it because Roy inherited a team that was on a downward

spiral, so he was going to have to get a bit of freshness in there.

“As with any manager, we all crave time to try and implement our

own ideas, bring in our own players, and I’m sure if they give Roy

that time you will see the benefit to Liverpool in the long run.”

Coyle is still surprised by Liverpool’s position, just two places

and three points off the foot of the table, but is fully aware of

how easily such a situation can change. “Anybody who looks at

Liverpool, you don’t expect them to be in the bottom half of the

table,” added Coyle. “But we all know that in this league it only

takes two or three results to turn that on its head and to be

catapulted up there. “This is not a team that is detached. We know

this is a team that, within a couple of wins, can really push

themselves up the table. “As I’ve said, if Roy is given the time

then he will do a fantastic job at Liverpool Football Club.” Coyle,

meanwhile, has confirmed defender Andy O’Brien has joined npower

Championship side Leeds on a month-long loan as he seeks to improve

his fitness. O’Brien has not played since sustaining a hamstring

injury in a 1-1 draw at Aston Villa in mid-September. Coyle said:

“He’s been back training for over a week now and training very

well, so this is an opportunity for him to go and get some games.

“He’s going to a fantastic club, so it’s a win-win situation. Andy

gets games at a very good club, and after a month I get a very good

player back fully fit.” Striker Ivan Klasnic comes into

consideration for the game with Liverpool. Klasnic, who was

suspended for the 1-1 draw at Wigan last weekend, is available

despite currently being on bail following his arrest on suspicion

of rape this week.