Hodgson not worried about Nando

BY foxsports • September 13, 2010

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson leapt to the defence of striker Fernando Torres after the goalless draw with Birmingham at St Andrew's.

Former Liverpool player Jamie Redknapp was critical of Torres' performance in his role as a pundit with Sky Sports.

But Hodgson was satisfied with the contribution of the Spanish World Cup winner and believes he will get "better and better."

Hodgson said: "Fernando came into the centre on a few occasions and, when he did that, he caused havoc.

"You've got to give the back four of Birmingham credit. They worked very hard to contain him and pressurise him.

"But he is looking much fitter with every game and I thought he looked dangerous and I thought, the longer the game went, the stronger he became.

"I think he is working hard for the team. He is a constant thorn in the side of defenders.

"We know he lacks match training. He missed matches at the end of last year and during the World Cup.

"But I'm not at all concerned about Fernando Torres. He will get better and better."

Liverpool needed two superb first half saves from Pepe Reina to earn them a point but Hodgson was satisfied with his side's overall performance.

He said: "I thought they really pressurised well for a spell in the first half and we were dependent on two exceptionally good saves from Pepe Reina.

"But we kept our shape well during that period and the longer the game went on, the stronger we were getting.

"It was a good performance from the Birmingham team but I was not that disappointed with our performance either.

"We kept to our task well. It is early days for me and the team. We've had players coming into the team trying to come to terms with what we are asking of them.

"A lot of teams will come here and find it very difficult. This is a tough place and they are unbeaten here for goodness knows how long (12 months).

"I've got to say my expectations were not that high anyway. I would have been disappointed to lose the game but certainly not that disappointed to draw it."

Blues manager Alex McLeish was full of praise for midfielder Barry Ferguson after another classy display.

He said: "Ferguson was fantastic. He trains every day, is never on the treatment table, is just a dream to work with.

"When he plays the way he did today, you see he is a real top class player."

McLeish admitted: "We never took the chances, that is why we didn't win but I've got to be thrilled with the performance.

"The chances we did create, Reina was outstanding today. Whether they were world class saves, that's for the experts to decide.

"But they certainly looked tremendous saves from where I was.

"We were just looking for the killer touch but the performance level of the whole team was fantastic."

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