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Liverpool legends offer Roy Hodgson backing

Liverpool legends Kevin Keegan, John Barnes and Steve McManaman today insisted Roy Hodgson could survive as Liverpool manager, despite him appearing on the brink of the sack.

Last night's 3-1 Barclays Premier League defeat at Blackburn could spell the end of Hodgson's short tenure, with reports last week suggesting new owners NESV were actively pursuing a replacement.

But Keegan, Barnes and McManaman are adamant the 63-year-old still has time to turn it round, starting with Sunday's FA Cup third-round tie at Manchester United.

Keegan said: "In one word, yes, of course he can.

"The opportunity comes at Manchester United to get back on track.

"It's a tough one. Liverpool are a big club, big expectation, underperformed over a number of years - way before Roy Hodgson went in there.

"The decline at Liverpool has not just happened in the past three to six months. It's been going on for a period of time.

"They've got to give him time but it's the one thing you don't get, as we all know. The clock ticks on the wall and managers don't get time.

"They thought he was right four months ago and he did a great job at Fulham, so they've got to back him.

"They chose him - they've got to back him."

Barnes added: "You know what football's like. It's results driven and pick up some results and the tide changes.

"As much as Liverpool aren't doing well now, if they put some results together, beat Manchester United in the FA Cup, hopefully, and then do well, things change.

"But in football, generally speaking, if you lose, you're going to be under pressure, particularly at a big club."

McManaman said: "The Chelsea manager, who did the double last year, he's under pressure. They're talking about him getting the sack this morning.

"Beat Man United, win the next league game, beat Everton, and everything's rosy again.

"Lose, lose, and lose and he'll struggle again."

The trio all agreed Hodgson should be backed by his bosses.

Barnes said: "I believe that all managers should be give support and I think that the biggest testament to that is Manchester United.

"They haven't been playing well but they have a manager who everybody respects, everybody supports."

Keegan added: "If you go back to when Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Man United, he had a tough start.

"He wasn't in too dissimilar a situation."

Hodgson appeared to alienate some of his own club's fans last week when he accused them of failing to give him adequate support.

Barnes said: "We know that things haven't gone particularly well and there may be people who are against Roy.

"All of the Liverpool fans that may be against Roy now, I'm sure that if they start winning matches, they will support him - because they love their club.

"That's what football fans want. They want success for their club."