Hodgson enthused by Torres upturn

The Reds’ star striker has endured a difficult start to the season

but hit the winner in last Sunday’s crucial Premier League win over

Blackburn. That was only the second goal of the campaign for the

Spanish World Cup winner, who has struggled for form since

undergoing a knee operation in April. Hodgson told LFC TV: “I think

his desire and his wanting to do a good job have been there from

the very first day. “It is just a combination of things – maybe the

team is playing a bit better and their extra confidence is giving

him extra confidence. “Football is always a big amalgam of a lot of

factors. “You do need, if you are going to have a good team, your

good players in good form producing what they are capable of

producing. “With Fernando on Sunday, we definitely saw that. “I see

it in training every day and I just hope he keeps going and we have

a good few months of it.” Torres’ goal secured only the troubled

Merseysiders’ second Premier League win of the season in their

ninth outing. The team remain in the bottom three but Hodgson has

taken huge encouragement from the 2-1 victory over Blackburn and

wants to carry the momentum into Sunday’s trip to Bolton. Hodgson

said: “One of the major problems is we haven’t started games as

well as we would have liked. “The intensity has not been there

right from the offset. We have had to build up to it during the

game. “In Sunday’s game we had the intensity from the offset. “We

have had nine league games – not the most successful league games

either – and seven European games, almost the same number. “It is

possible one or two of those European games did affect the

intensity from the off. “But it has been a good lesson for us, a

good learning curve for everybody. “The performance we gave in the

second half against Everton and the whole of the game against

Blackburn – that is what we need for the whole 90 minutes in the

remaining 29 games.” Liverpool will again be without Dirk Kuyt at

the Reebok Stadium but the forward is making encouraging progress

in his recovery from an ankle problem. Kuyt was expected to be

sidelined for a month after sustaining the injury on international

duty a fortnight ago but could now be back to face Chelsea a week

on Sunday. Full-back Glen Johnson has an outside chance of

returning at Bolton after a thigh injury.