Roy Hodgson satisfied with Liverpool mentality

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The Independent Online

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has no worries over his squad's mentality as they go in search of only their second Barclays Premier League away win of the season this weekend at Tottenham.

So far the only Barclays Premier League victory on opposition turf has come at Bolton, and that is only the second success outside Anfield since December 29 when they beat Aston Villa.

They have an ideal chance to start putting things right at White Hart Lane on Sunday, especially as Spurs' record suggests they are vulnerable after playing in the Champions League in midweek.

Liverpool's last game on the road was a disappointing 2-0 defeat at Stoke, which ended a six-match unbeaten run in all competitions.

However, Hodgson - whose side returned to winning ways with victory over West Ham last weekend - said he did not think playing away from home was a problem for his players.

"The away form has been bad for a long time," said the Reds boss.

"We've had one good victory and a couple of reasonable draws but I'm afraid in this league away victories are hard to come by.

"We've not been a lucky team so far, whatever we've got we've had to battle for.

"I don't think mentality comes into it. Against Stoke we had done well against them until they scored the goal.

"Then we took the game to them and conceded a second and everyone thinks the team played badly and were battered.

"I believe if we continue to play the way we did against West Ham we may get one or two but it is the level of performance which counts.

"Results determine everything and people look at the results and then judge the performance.

"I have to judge the performance sometimes when we win and say 'That was not very good and we could do better' and sometimes when we lose I have to look at it and say it was a bad result but not as bad as all that."

Hodgson will be without captain Steven Gerrard at the weekend as he is sidelined with a hamstring tear but is hopeful Joe Cole, who has not played since October 31 with a similar problem, could return against Spurs.

The 63-year-old is also contemplating using the versatility of full-back Fabio Aurelio now the Brazilian is back to fitness, having made only his fourth appearance of the season as a substitute against the Hammers.

"He can definitely play as a left midfielder," said Hodgson.

"When we re-signed him we were thinking we needed two good left-backs at the club and that he'd be competing for one of those places in the team.

"But I saw him do very well in Trabzonspor when he moved up into midfield, and he tells me that when he was in Valencia he played in midfield very often.

"It's definitely an option. If he can stay fit then it could be a really good boost to our team.

"Already I've got him pencilled in for the game against Steaua Bucharest, so let's hope he can stay fit until then and I can see him in a 90-minute game."

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