Hodgson keeps his focus on football

The 62-year-old enjoyed a straightforward Anfield debut as his side

beat Macedonians Rabotnicki 2-0 in their Europa League third

qualifying round second leg as a David Ngog header and a Steven

Gerrard penalty before half-time wrapped up a 4-0 aggregate

victory. However, the club is currently being dominated by issues

off the pitch as various factions jostle for position in the race

to take over from American owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett.

Rumours on Thursday suggested the Chinese government was behind a

bid fronted by Hong Kong-based businessman Kenny Huang while Syrian

Yahya Kirdi has claimed he is in pole position to become the new

owner. Hodgson admits he does not have any involvement in that side

of the club’s business but he is acutely aware what impact

continued delays in a change of ownership could have. “The

interesting thing for me today was the game, that has been my total

focus,” he said. “When and if a takeover takes place I’m sure I

will be informed. “We have made some signings so far and we hope to

bring in at least a couple of other players. “I think the danger

would be in a late takeover that money would be made available but

we wouldn’t have had a chance to research the players in this

transfer window. “We are doing our research in this window and

targeting players that the club is capable and able to buy. “If one

day an enormous amount of money is made available like it was for

Manchester City and Chelsea so be it, it would be nice. “But we

would still have to do a lot of research before we started

splashing that money around. “It is not a question of how much a

player costs, it is how good he is.” Hodgson had praise for the

impressive Joe Cole on his home debut after starting the former

Chelsea midfielder in a central role behind striker Ngog. “Joe is

desperate to play. He came here because he thought he might get the

opportunity to start more games than he did at Chelsea,” added the

Englishman. “He is an enthusiastic and effervescent footballer and

the more he plays the happier he is. “His energy and enthusiasm

tonight meant he had a really good home debut.” On the team

performance as a whole Hodgson added: “I am perfectly satisfied; we

played some very attractive football and created lots of chances,

more than the scoreline suggests. “We kept our discipline and that

was important too because it is so easy in these games to lose your

way and for people to start doing things you don’t want them

doing.”