Roy Hodgson regrets comments about Liverpool fans
The club’s eighth league defeat of the season to the relegation scrappers was greeted by a chorus of boos, prompting Hodgson to call for more backing.
“I’m disappointed and I certainly regret if I have offended them in any way,” Hodgson said on Friday.
“It was not meant to be an offensive comment in any way,” he added.
“I was responding to a question about how it felt to be jeered by fans, making it clear it hurts me and I was disappointed by it because no-one wants to feel they are unpopular,” said Hodgson.
“I was taking responsibility and prepared to accept that I would be in the firing line. I’m very disappointed if that has been transformed into me attacking the fans.
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“I understand it is up to me to take it on the chin but it’s not been an easy ride for me. It’s been an uphill struggle and I was not the first choice appointment with a lot of fans.”
In the closing stages of the defeat by Wolves, who had not previously won away all season, fans sarcastically chanted “Hodgson for England” and sang the name of former boss Kenny Dalglish.
Following the match, Hodgson appeared to suggest their energy would be better directed to getting behind the team.
“I have to hope the fans will become supporters because we need support. We are not deliberately losing games,” he said.
But speaking at a scheduled news briefing ahead of Saturday’s crucial home match against Bolton, Hodgson said he understood why fans were so unhappy with the team and their manager.
“Fans always have the right to show their anger and disapproval – we’ve got fantastic fans but you have to give them something to be passionate about and we didn’t do that on Wednesday,” he added.
“I don’t think they were happy with anyone and as manager you are first in the firing line.
“The Anfield support will always be there and what’s more it’s better in times of crisis.”
Hodgson, who joined Liverpool from Fulham in July 2010, has presided over Liverpool’s worst start to a season in more than half a century.
Liverpool are 12th in the table with 22 points from 18 games, their lowest total going into the new year since the 1953-54 season, which ended in relegation.
The Reds were also dumped out of the Carling Cup after a home defeat on penalties to League Two side Northampton.
Several of Friday’s newspapers suggested Liverpool owners New England Sports Ventures are running out of patience with Hodgson and will consider replacing him unless results improve dramatically.
But the 63-year-old former Blackburn boss was confident he could bring success to the club if he was given more time.
“In the past there was a little bit more time and patience shown to managers,” he said. “That has diminished over the years.
“A while back, people realised it takes time to build a team. Now we want the change to happen very quickly.
“I know that with right amount of time patience and a little bit of luck, we will get back to where we should be. But we are not there at the moment and we’ve got to keep working towards it.”