Hodgson targets Champions League with Liverpool

New Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits he has to sell himself and his ideals to the club's star players but hopes they will not be tempted to "jump ship".

The 62-year-old has taken over at Anfield with much uncertainty still surrounding the futures of captain Steven Gerrard, striker Fernando Torres and midfielder Javier Mascherano.

That trio are undoubtedly the club's most marketable assets and have all been linked with summer moves following the departure of Rafael Benitez last month after a disappointing campaign saw the Reds finish seventh - their worst position for 11 years.

Hodgson knows he is not the glamour name some were maybe expecting but hopes the players will stick around long enough to judge his credentials for themselves.

The former Fulham boss was due to speak to Gerrard and Jamie Carragher after his press conference at Anfield today, when he would outline his vision.

He also plans to have conversations with other key members of the playing staff.

"It will be actions more than words," said Hodgson.

"But my talk with them will be about how much I want to work with them, how much I want them to stay at the club, how much the club and fans want them to stay and that by staying at the club we can achieve as much success as they could find by leaving the club.

"That is all I can say to them. Then of course it is a case of making certain with your actions on the training ground and match days they see you are not just talking but are practising what you preach.

"I will be trying to persuade them that their future is with the club they love and have always played for.

"They are more than just Liverpool football club players, they are the heartbeat and very much the soul of this team.

"My hope will be is that they will give me the benefit of their services, just as they have given other managers the benefit of their services.

"I hope they won't be tempted, on the back of one disappointing year, to jump ship.

"I personally can't nail their feet to the floor. I'll try to convince them that if they stay here and have a good season then it's a good club to play for.

"It's out of my hands to an extent, but I do know the club is anxious to keep the players, I'm anxious to keep the players.

"We'll do all in our power to keep them. The fans are intelligent and know the situation.

"They can't expect me to give guarantees they'll stay on."

Hodgson was flanked by chairman Martin Broughton at his press conference in Anfield's trophy room.

And the man brought in to oversee the sale of the club by co-owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett again reiterated players would not have to be sold to pay down Liverpool's £351million debt and he was hopeful of hanging on to their star players.

"I haven't personally had any conversations with them but conversations have taken place and we remain optimistic on that," said Broughton, who did confirm any money raised from player sales would be reinvested in the squad.

"I know there are rumours out there about the club needing to sell players.

"If I can just go on record again and say they are not for sale, we don't need the money.

"We don't have any desire or need to sell players in order to pay down the debt."

In recent days Hodgson's name had been linked with England in the wake of the national team's woeful performance at the World Cup under Fabio Capello.

But he dismissed suggestions he had been waiting to see what happened to the Italian before making his choice.

"There was never a question that I should hold on and hedge my bets for something different because I wanted to be here - it was quite simply that," said Hodgson, whose appointment came from a shortlist of two who were interviewed at the weekend.

Hodgson said he would take his time to assess the squad before making decisions on what was needed in terms of recruitment.

However, suggestions he would make Fulham centre-back Brede Hangeland his first signing were quickly dismissed.

"I won't be raiding Fulham - I've made that commitment to the club who were good enough to allow me to speak to Liverpool," he said.

"I've got great respect for the everyone there and I've made clear to the chairman here (Broughton) that I don't want to go in and raid Fulham because that would not be the correct thing to do."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy