Roy worried by great expectations

Liverpool 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.”