Roy Hodgson insists he is no worse as a manager now than he was three months ago and that he is currently simply enduring "a bad moment".
A home defeat to Blackpool has left the club 18th in the league and critics are already questioning whether Hodgson was the right man to replace Rafael Benitez. But Hodgson said yesterday he has not lost faith in his capabilities or methods. "I don't think you go from being as feted as I was in May to losing any ability three months later," he said.
"I know the question is going to get asked but it shouldn't really be asked by people who have been in football a long time, because we all know in the game you have good and bad moments. At the end of May I was having a fantastic moment and here at the beginning of October I'm having bad moments. But I don't think I have suddenly changed or lost any ability which has served me so well in 35 years of coaching."
The international break could not have come at a worse time for Liverpool as it means they will be stuck in the bottom three until at least 17 October, when they make the short trip to Goodison Park for the Merseyside derby. Hodgson has admitted he has a lot to work to do but knows he has little time to work with his players, with most of his first-team squad away with their national teams. "There is no point in me racking my brains or tearing my hair out about the situation which exists if I cannot change it," he said. "The players will not be here for two weeks, I will not see them and it will be a major blow for myself.
"It would have been good to have spent some time with them in the coming days to at least help them get over the bitter pill we have had to swallow [the defeat to Blackpool]."
The transfer window is not open again for almost three months but, even if he had money to spend – and it seems unlikely there will be much come January unless there is good news on the sale of the club – the Liverpool manager knows he has to get more out of his current squad. "We have to trust in the players we have here to get it right because until January we can do nothing about it," he said.