Hodgson leaves Liverpool as Dalglish takes over

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The Independent Online

Liverpool today confirmed that manager Roy Hodgson has left the club by mutual consent.

Hodgson had been under huge pressure following poor results this season and the decision came as no surprise with the club 12th in the Barclays Premier League, just four points above the relegation zone.

Kenny Dalglish will take control of team matters for tomorrow's third round FA Cup tie with Manchester United at Old Trafford.

In a statement on the club's website, principal owner John Henry said: "We are grateful for Roy's efforts over the past six months, but both parties thought it in the best interests of the club that he stand down from his position as team manager.

"We wish him all the best for the future."

Hodgson added: "Being asked to manage Liverpool football club was a great privilege.

"Any manager would be honoured to manage a club with such an incredible history, such embedded tradition and such an amazing set of fans.

"Liverpool is one of the great clubs in world football. I have, however, found the last few months some of the most challenging of my career.

"I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window and to have been able to be part of the rebuilding process at Liverpool.

"The club has some great, world-class players, with whom it has been a pleasure to work and I wish the entire squad well for the rest of the season.

"I thank those with whom I have built up a close working relationship at the club for their loyalty and support during very testing times, and finally of course to the Liverpool fans, your passion and dedication to the club will see Liverpool at the top of the game once more."

Speaking about the decision to put Dalglish in charge of the team for the rest of the season, Henry added: "We are delighted that Kenny Dalglish has agreed to step in and manage the team for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Old Trafford and for the remainder of the season.

"Kenny was not just a legendary footballer, he was the third of our three most successful managers - three giants. We are extraordinarily fortunate and grateful that he has decided to step in during the middle of this season."

Chairman Tom Werner said: "No one who cares for this great club has been happy with the way this season has unfolded and we have examined options and considered at length what is best for us going forward.

"Kenny will bring considerable experience to the position and provide management and leadership for the rest of the season."

Hodgson was named Liverpool boss on July 1 last year, signing a three-year contract and looking to translate his success at Fulham onto a bigger stage.

But despite victories in the early stages of the Europa League, domestic results failed to live up to expectations, most memorably with a Carling Cup exit to League Two Northampton at Anfield.

The Reds even found themselves in the bottom three of the league with a 2-1 home defeat to promoted Blackpool, the first time since September 1964 they had ended a round of top-flight fixtures in such a position.

A run of three straight league wins, including over Chelsea at Anfield, eased the pressure, but Hodgson was forced to apologise to the club's fans for saying he "had never had the famous Anfield support" since taking over.

Those comments came after another home defeat, this time to bottom side Wolves, and the final straw came with Wednesday's 3-1 loss at Blackburn.

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