WEST BROM boss Roy Hodgson isn’t looking forward to tomorrow’s clash at the Hawthorns – because he knows Liverpool are improving fast under Kenny Dalglish.
The former Anfield manager, (inset) whose dismal six-month reign ended in January, admits the Reds are a different proposition on their travels now than they were during his tenure.
“I can’t say I’m looking forward to it because they are a good team,” he said. “We need to win and get points and the stronger the team you play against the less chance there is of getting those points.
“I have such a lot of respect for the team we’re meeting and I know how good those players can be when they’re on their game.
“Recently they have had a couple of good results away and the fear that we suffered through having gone a long period without an away win has been broken. That hoodoo has been broken so I know we face a very dangerous opponent.”
Hodgson, who lasted just 31 games at Liverpool, insists his only motivation will be helping West Brom move a step closer to safety.
“It means a lot because we only have eight games left,” he said. “I don’t have any feelings of revenge or proving anything. I don’t think I need to prove points.
“If there are people out there who think I need to prove a point then I suggest they look at what I’ve done in the last 36 years because I’m more concerned with having that behind me than having debates about six months at a club.
“For me it’s six months in a 36-year career.”
Steven Gerrard recently defended Hodgson and said the players were responsible for him losing his job.
That meant a lot to the 63-year-old who believes he was the victim of circumstances at Anfield.
“I never had any fears or doubts that the people with whom I was working had no respect for the work I was doing,” he said. “But it’s nice to hear them say it publicly.
“What happened at Liverpool is in the past.
“The people that are there know the work I did and the satisfaction I get if any is that the people that were there are fully respectful of the job I did there and realise that it was circumstances more than any lack of competence which prompted the owners to change the manager.
“Kenny and I have never been particularly close friends. I don’t know him that well but I have no animosity towards him. I’m perfectly happy to see him in the job and I’m happy to be in the job I’m in.”