Bolton boss hails "elite quality" Hodgson
Published 23:00 29/10/10 By Alan Nixon
Bolton boss Owen Coyle rates Roy Hodgson so highly that he claims he is the man to take Liverpool back to the top.
Coyle could push Hodgson back on the ‘at risk’ list of managers if Wanderers leave them in the bottom three tomorrow, but he is pleading for the veteran coach to be allowed some leeway in the club’s time of change.
Young chief Coyle is a big admirer of Hodgson, a boss 19 years his senior and currently three points below his new-look side. And he hopes that respect is shared by the new Kop owners.
Coyle said: “I am bewildered that Roy comes in for so much criticism. He is an elite coach in the world of football. He showed his quality at Fulham and was Manager of the Year.
“Now he’s not a good enough manager? This is a top-class manager. Given the time he will bring Liverpool back to the heights that he is aiming for.
People have to understand that this is a transitional period.”
Coyle does not think Hodgson is to blame for the Liverpool problems that mounted before he arrived and added: “It was always going to be difficult.
He was coming into a team that was on a downward spiral.
“It was always going to take time. You can’t click your fingers and things fall into place, particularly at a club that expected to be challenging for honours this season.”
Coyle will not be too sympathetic on the day as Liverpool could go level with his side if they win - with Bolton’s strong start not yielding as many points as their manager thinks they deserve.
He said: “It turns very quickly in football. From all the doom and gloom people see at Liverpool they could be in the top half with a couple of wins.
“My focus is just on keeping Bolton as high as we can. We have been unfortunate in terms of decisions - we could have had two more wins away but for offside goals.
“We would be in the Champions League if there was a table for decisions that went against us. We have had seven or eight poor calls that have gone against us in games.”
Coyle could throw Spanish starlet Rodrigo Moreno in for a shock start after he dazzled as a sub last week. The on-loan star with a pedigree from his Real Madrid days is close to selection.
The Bolton boss laughed: “Rodrigo is knocking at the door and it’s only a matter of time before he bursts right through. He is the type of player I love - he took a 50-yard pass and smashed it on the volley last week.
“The boys with the jerseys only have to see how good the others are working to get into the side. That is pushing them all on at the moment.”