Hodgson has 'nothing to prove' says Dalglish
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has defended Roy Hodgson's record at Anfield and believes he has nothing to prove as a Premier League manager.sports Updated: Apr 01, 2011 07:56 IST
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has defended Roy Hodgson's record at Anfield and believes he has nothing to prove as a Premier League manager.
Dalglish replaced Hodgson, albeit in a caretaker role, in January after Hodgson's widely unpopular six-month Anfield managerial tenure was ended by Liverpool owner John Henry.
Hodgson's Liverpool stumbled badly in the first half of the season and he had to endure the humiliation of listening to the Kop sing Dalglish's name in a bid to get the Scot to replace him.
That is ultimately what happened as Dalglish was installed until the end of this season but Liverpool's manager is keen to move on from that period when he takes his side to play Hodgson's West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
Hodgson got the Hawthorns job within weeks of departing Merseyside and Dalglish believes the speed with which Hodgson found work underlines his Premier League credentials.
"Roy hasn't got anything to prove to anybody," Dalglish said.
"If you say he has extra motivation then you are doubting the man's integrity and implying he never had enough motivation before.
"It's Liverpool versus West Brom and we'll face a team that has been prepared by Roy. I don't have a problem with that. It'll be nice to see him again.
"Roy brings his own management style to the club and they have done well since he went in there. We are looking forward to the game.
"I have great respect for him, as I said when I came in here, and that isn't going to change now that we are playing against each other."
Dalglish is determined not to let the debate over his own relationship with Hodgson overshadow the fact that this is a crucial game for both sides.
"For me, the game is about Liverpool against West Brom and that's the way I'll go into it," he said.
"I'll see an old friend of mine standing in the opposite dugout. Everyone knows he's an excellent coach so we know what to expect. We know how they will play so it's up to us to be better than them on the day."
Liverpool may be able to call upon Steven Gerrard for this contest following an operation three weeks ago on a groin problem.
He was expected to be out for a month but he has resumed full training and could be a surprise inclusion.
"We'll have a look. He's recovered really well from the surgery he had so we'll see how he is before we decide whether he's in or out," Dalglish said.
"He's certainly done a lot of training this week -- not all the training the other lads have done, but a lot of it."
Dalglish's opinion on Hodgson was echoed by Albion defender Jonas Olsson, who believes Hodgson will have no problems facing his former club at the weekend.
Hodgson has guided West Brom on a four-game undefeated run, which has increased the club's hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the second-tier Championship.
Olsson said: "He has nothing to prove. I don't see him as the kind of man who will get carried away with it this week. For him it's another three points, as it is for the players and fans.
"I don't think he will see it as a chance to justify himself. It's about getting this club further away from relegation.
"He has enough quality as a manager and person without having his own agenda or having any need to put the record straight.
"Perhaps it will be more special but the only relevance come the final whistle will be three points."
West Brom go into the game without Pablo Ibanez, who has a knee injury, but have no other concerns.
Liverpool will be without Martin Kelly (hamstring), while Jonjo Shelvey (knee), Fabio Aurelio (hamstring) and Glen Johnson (Achilles) are also all expected to be absent.