Roy worried by great expectations

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson believes his players are struggling to come to terms with the "enormous expectation" of the club’s supporters.

Liverpoll have taken just six points from their first six Premier League games and also suffered a Carling Cup defeat to Northampton in a disastrous start to the season on the pitch.

Ownership issues also continue to cast a shawdow over the club, with a protest against AGeorge Gillett and Tom Hicks staged by supporters after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Sunderland.

Hodgson, who inherited the reins from Rafa Benitez over the summer, admits the situation on Merseyside is far from ideal, but claims such events were always likely to hinder his cause.

"The players are trying to come to terms with the enormous expectation here," he said.

"That, at the moment, is our major problem. Everything is very new; there are a lot of new players, uncertainty over the ownership of the club and the minute you are not top of the table after five or six games, people are saying this is not good enough.

"I am not saying it is good enough but I am saying this is something that could have been predicted."

Meanwhile, Hodgson has defended Fernando Torres’ indifferent form so far this season.

"The Fernando Torres you saw today was much, much different to the Fernando Torres you saw in the opening couple of games," he said following the Sunderland stalemate.

"People wanted to see the very best of him from the moment he stepped back on the field after the World Cup but the point is he needs time, he needs games."