Dalglish asks fans to respect Hodgson

Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish has praised the integrity of predecessor Roy Hodgson and has urged fans to respect the former Reds boss when he returns to Anfield today.

Hodgson lasted six months with the Merseysiders last season before owners Fenway Sports Group dispensed with his services after a disappointing first half to the campaign.

By the end of his spell fans had completely turned against him and on several occasions the Kop chanted the name of Dalglish to only increase the pressure on the Englishman.

Hodgson was the man the previous regime of Tom Hicks and George Gillett went for after excluding Dalglish from being a candidate. But the Scot bears no ill-feeling to his opposite number ahead of this weekend’s game against West Brom.

“Roy is a fantastic man with huge integrity and knowledge about football and someone I have total respect for,” the Liverpool manager said.

“I don’t know how Roy saw it but my view is he is still the same person, he still has the same knowledge, he has still had the same career and he added to it by managing this club (Liverpool).

“When he comes out of the tunnel on Sunday I am sure he will be well received by our fans and they will give him the respect the man deserves.

“Anyone who has managed this club gets the respect from the fans they deserve.”

Unfortunately for Hodgson his record at Anfield never lived up to expectations.

He was in charge for 191 days, presiding over just 13 wins in 31 games — including a Carling Cup exit to League Two Northampton at Anfield.

Results in the Premier League were poor, venturing into almost unprecedented territory when they plummeted to 19th at one stage, with only seven wins in his 20 games.

In contrast he has had relative success at West Brom. He took over on February 14 last year, less than six weeks after leaving Liverpool, with the club 17th in the table and he led them to their best Premier League finish of 11th. Of his 46 league games with the Baggies he has won 17 and drawn 11.

“His reputation as a person and a football manager were, in my mind, never damaged,” Dalglish said in defence of Hodgson.

“He did a fantastic job last year keeping West Brom up and they stayed up easily this year.”

For his part, Hodgson is expecting a hot reception tomorrow.

He was dismissed in January 2011 after just eight months in charge before returning to management with the Baggies only 37 days later. He admits to not being liked by the Liverpool supporters during his spell at the club.

When asked if he will receive a good reception, Hodgson said: “I wouldn’t have thought so. There is no reason to give me a good reception because they didn’t like me when I was there. I can’t see they are going to like me now.

“There aren’t that many people I worked with that are still there and people like Damien Comolli (director of football) have moved on.”

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