Hodgson refuses to set Liverpool targets

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The Independent Football

Roy Hodgson is refusing to set any targets for his first season in charge of Liverpool.

Hodgson saw a fine display from keeper Jose Reina earn his side a goalless draw at Birmingham yesterday, moving his side to five points from four games.

The former Fulham boss subsequently denied reports he had dismissed the Reds' title aspirations as being "unrealistic".

Hodgson said: "I didn't say that. I don't set targets. I never do.

"My target is to prepare the team to do well in each game we play and we will see where that takes us.

"If you ask me the question 'Can this team win the league?' I would say I don't know.

"We will take each game as it comes, work hard in every game, and see where we are in May.

"I think it is amusing people are discussing whether teams can win the league after four games! We play 38.

"I would like us to play as well as possible and get as many points as possible and see where that takes us.

"But I'm not prepared to make any statements whether this team can or can't win the league."

Hodgson is also confident Fernando Torres will pose more of a threat when he gains full match sharpness.

He said: "We know that he lacks match training. He missed matches at the end of last year and he missed matches during the World Cup.

"But I'm not at all concerned about Fernando Torres. He will get better and better as the season goes on."

Blues boss Alex McLeish finally hopes to sign a new contract in the next week.

He said: "It is looking pretty good. I think the contract will be nailed this week."

McLeish added: "We never took the chances, that is why we didn't win, but I've got to be thrilled with the performance.

"With the chances we did create, you've got to say Reina was outstanding today. Whether they were world-class saves, that's for the experts to decide.

"But they certainly look tremendous from where I was.

"It was great to see the players getting into those positions, great to see we can provide that type of service for players when they are in that position .

"That's the hardest part of the game, creating chances. Everything else, I think we've been pretty good at over the last year and a half.

"We are just looking for the killer touch but the performance level of the whole team was fantastic."