Dalglish set to take helm as US owners lose patience

Cole goal will be too little too late for Hodgson with legend ready to take over until end of season

Anfield

Liverpool's owners are weighing up appointing a temporary manager to see the club through to the end of the season, a move which appears to open the door to Kenny Dalglish fulfilling his desire to return to the helm of the club where he remains a legend.

The injury-time winner by Joe Cole – Roy Hodgson's late substitute – which sealed a 2-1 win over Bolton Wanderers yesterday is unlikely to convince Liverpool's main owner, John W Henry, that Hodgson should see the club through to May, and it is with a growing awareness that the right permanent manager cannot be found in mid-season that he and Fenway Sports Group appear ready to appoint on an interim basis.

Precisely who they might be considering remains unclear, though Dalglish would enable the club to reconnect with supporters whose disenchantment contributed to Liverpool's lowest League crowd since the visit of Portsmouth in 2004: just 35,400 turned up yesterday. The owners may also feel that Dalglish is the man to bring the full potential out of Fernando Torres who, despite a far better display yesterday, has not delivered consistently for Hodgson.

Hodgson mouthed the words "thank you" to fans in the main stand and Kop last night after the victory and, even after Kevin Davies's goal put Bolton ahead, there was no repeat of the negative sentiment sounded during Liverpool's home defeat to Wolves. There were also signs of the support the 63-year-old has among some of his players, whom he shook individually by the hand. Pepe Reina knocked Hodgson off his feet; Lucas Leiva stopped his run from the field to embrace him. But Henry's concerns about his relationship with the fans have contributed to the feeling that imminent change is due. There had been hopes of a permanent replacement in mid-season, though that reduces the possible candidates – the former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard is one of the few likely candidates not already contracted – which is why the idea of a stopgap has come into the equation.

Dalglish had felt the Americans did not have an appetite to hire him, though he believes he should have been appointed last summer, and his appeal for unity yesterday again included no support for Hodgson. "If everyone sticks together we'll have a better chance of getting three points. Then, if we want to have a discussion after that, we can," Dalglish said.

Hodgson said last night that Henry and Liverpool chairman Tom Werner had wished him "good luck" for yesterday and sympathised with "the frustration I must be feeling after Wednesday night". Asked if he felt he had their support, he said: "I guess so." Hodgson struck a determined tone, insisting that his comment about the absence of the "famous Anfield support" earned undue prominence. "I don't know how many times I've got to do a mea culpa," he said. "I'm still annoyed – if that's the word – that what I said was taken out of context."

Hodgson said the win showed that Liverpool could build towards European qualification and insisted the players were behind him. "If we had won on Wednesday night, you'd be asking me about the Champions' League," he said. "The negativity is being created here [in the press room]. It doesn't affect me in my job. I know when players are behind their club and their manager. Anyone who seriously suggests after watching us play that there are any problems on this front is being dishonest."

Liverpool's win saw them move up to ninth and they could go sixth if they win their games in hand over Bolton and Sunderland – their busy January is, on the face of things, a straightforward one in the League, with Blackpool, Fulham and Wolves following a trip to Blackburn on Wednesday.

The Hodgson programme notes suggested that the fans were on his mind: "I repeat every week that we are fully aware of our responsibilities and know how much supporting Liverpool means to you." There was no direct abuse from fans yesterday at Hodgson, who corrected one TV journalist's assertions that his players were booed at half-time. "It was the referee," he said. Only one banner had an anti-Hodgson message. "Fans New Year wish – new manager," it stated.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Life and Style
tech

Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download

Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Rosalind Buckland, the inspiration for Cider with Rosie died this week
booksBut what is it like to be the person who inspires a classic work of art?
Arts and Entertainment
tv

News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife
film

Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist

Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Messi in action for Barcelona
filmWhat makes the little man tick?
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Arts and Entertainment
tvReview: An undercooked end (spoiler alert)
Life and Style
i100

Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding
musicThe singer said 'the last thing I want to do is degrade'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week