Roy Hodgson has assured Liverpool supporters that he and his players understand the anger which has greeted recent results and the under-pressure manager hopes Sunday's FA Cup tie against Manchester United will act as a spur to improving morale.
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Hodgson has been under intense scrutiny this week following a poor 3-1 defeat to Blackburn Rovers which led to renewed calls for his departure from Liverpool fans. It is reported that the club's hierarchy are currently debating whether to sack the former Fulham manager.
Following Wednesday's defeat at Blackburn, Hodgson's post-match press conference was brought to an abrupt halt after only three minutes as he did not want to discuss his job prospects, and on Friday the club cancelled his weekly address to the media.
However, Hodgson did grant an interview to official club channels and expressed his hope that he could improve the mood of supporters by winning at the home of great rivals United in Sunday's third-round fixture.
"It's very important the fans realise that we understand they have high hopes, expectations and ambitions for the club and the team," Hodgson said. "We have high hopes, expectations and ambitions as well. Every time we go on to the field we desperately want to see those dreams materialise and to produce the performances which bring you results. It's very painful when it's not happening and the fans make their views felt. We're all hurting in this situation.
"We've got quite an experienced bunch of players here and they know as well as I do how important this game is - in particular for the supporters of the club who'd take enormous delight if we could knock Manchester United out of the Cup on their home ground. It would be a remarkable coup.
"The important thing for me to do is, yes, make that point clear - but also to emphasise that to win it will require a lot of intelligent football. We're not going to do it through heart alone. It needs to be a combination of endeavour and desire, but also people using their heads to play well tactically, negate Manchester United's strengths and take advantage of some of their weaknesses.
"I don't think it's difficult to get the players focused on a team like Manchester United. Yesterday [Thursday] was a day off so this is the first time I've seen them since Blackburn. The mood was very good this morning. People worked well in quite difficult circumstances because we were playing on a snowy pitch where the ball wasn't rolling too well."
Hodgson revealed that Paul Konchesky and Martin Skrtel are doubtful with a dead leg and a stomach strain respectively, although Portuguese midfielder Raul Meireles is available for selection.