Roy Hodgson admits Liverpool past is an issue

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The Independent Football

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson admits he will always face comparison to his predecessors after seeing his side's recent revival falter with a 2-0 defeat at Stoke in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday.

Hodgson had to listen to Liverpool fans chanting the name of former player and manager Kenny Dalglish as goals from Ricardo Fuller and Kenwyne Jones ended a six-match unbeaten run at the Britannia Stadium.

Asked if the singing of Dalglish's name disappointed him, Hodgson said: "I suppose it does. That seems like it is going to be part of life at Liverpool.

"I think we are trying to do the best job we can in the circumstances and I don't know that that type of singing helps anyone."

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson praised his rising stars after Federico Macheda and Nemanja Vidic earned a point at Aston Villa with late goals after an Ashley Young penalty and Marc Albrighton goal had put the home side 2-0 ahead.

"We brought people on (Macheda and Gabriel Obertan) and they changed the game in fairness to them," Ferguson said.

"There was a great life and adventure about them. Macheda scored a great goal and with another five minutes we would have won the game."

Ian Holloway again defended his right to select whatever side he likes following a goalless draw at West Ham, where the Blackpool boss named a completely different starting XI.

Holloway had threatened to quit if fined for making 10 alterations for the midweek defeat at Aston Villa, and had recalled his main men against the Premier League's bottom club.

The Tangerines had come within minutes of snatching a point at Villa Park and could easily have left Upton Park with another crucial away victory as substitute Marlon Harewood saw a late effort chalked off for what looked a marginal offside flag and also missed an open goal.

Holloway said: "I have found a bit of pressure this week by apparently picking some people I was not supposed to pick.

"The new rules should let me pick whoever I like, particularly when I have spent a lot of money on them."

West Brom manager Roberto Di Matteo predicted a tough season as his side continued to slide following their bright start to the campaign with a 1-0 loss at Wigan.

He said: "It will stay difficult until the end of season as anyone can beat anyone, nothing new to us. But it is a shame we lost to a main competitor and we could have dealt with the goal better.

"We have had a difficult two weeks and lacked a bit of sharpness in the second half.

"We couldn't raise our game as we usually do but we never thought we would walk through this league."

Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini knows the pressure is on after fans reacted angrily to the substitution of striker Carlos Tevez during the 0-0 home draw with struggling Birmingham.

Mancini said: "Supporters just think why don't you put more strikers in the box, two, three, four, five.

"But if you think I put four strikers on and we score four goals, it is not true.

"All supporters are like this, in England and Italy."

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce pulled no punches as his side suffered a 4-2 defeat at Tottenham.

"The game from my point of view as a defensive unit was diabolical and as an attacking unit very exciting," said Allardyce.

"But it is no good gifting the opposition four goals before you start putting the ball in the back of the net. We are very disappointed about the way we defended."

Spurs scored through a Gareth Bale double, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Peter Crouch, with Blackburn's goals coming from Ryan Nelsen and Gael Givet.

Bolton won 3-2 at Wolves and Newcastle drew 0-0 at home to Fulham.