Bringing the lowly Watford to Anfield, the former England manager knows Jurgen Klopp’s side are cheered on by the prospect of reaching the top of the table, if only for a few hours, despite falling 14 points behind leaders Manchester City 10 weeks ago
(Image: Alan Cozzi)
Roy Hodgson returns to Anfield and insists the quadruple isn’t an impossible dream Liverpool.
The former England manager heads to Merseyside with little hope Watford can ‘surprise the football world’ by stopping the Red Juggernaut as Jurgen Klopp’s side begin the final countdown to an unprecedented clean win over major honours. 1999, the year Watford celebrated their only win at Liverpool under Graham Taylor Manchester United reached the treble and Hodgson believes Liverpool could have the firepower to top it off.
Klopp, who has already conceded the League Cup, is at the door Manchester City twice a week – in a possible title shootout at the Etihad and the FA Cup Semi-finals in Wembley – and the Kop go to the Portugal Champions League Quarterfinals on Tuesday. Hornets boss Hodgson, whose tenure as Liverpool manager lasted just 31 games in 2010-11, said: “I think the quadruple is possible. A treble is a wonderful achievement. To win the quadruple you have to beat both the best in Europe and in your own country, but yeah, I think it’s possible.
“The teams at the top of our league are now so good that they are partially capable of wiping the board – as long as they can prevail at home against their closest and fiercest pursuers. They’ll sweep everyone else aside, except maybe one or two right below them, so they’ll have to clear that hurdle first, and they’ll need a fair bit of luck, certainly to keep key players fit. If you are manager of FulhamWest Brom, crystal palace or Watford, they don’t really care about winning doubles or trebles – what you care about is taking a point or two from them to keep us in contention First League.”
Despite falling 14 points adrift of title rivals Manchester City in January, Liverpool have the incentive to know that if they beat Watford at the lunchtime kick-off they will go top of the table – if only for a couple of hours. Hodgson, 74, accepts that the odds of denying the Liverbird a return to his favorite spot are prohibitively long, just as he recognizes the Hornets are running out of time to avoid relegation.
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He admitted: “We tied a chain around our necks and attached a stone to it. We have to take that with us everywhere now because we are several points behind the teams we have to catch up with. Everyone knows that once you fall behind a few points and the number of games remaining decreases, your task of getting to safety becomes increasingly difficult. And there will be other games where you just hope your team puts on an exceptional performance and surprises the football world with a result nobody expects.”
Hodgson is bolstered by the return of Senegalese winger Ismaila Sarr from a hamstring injury, while striker Josh King – without a goal for Watford since November – scored a hat-trick for Norway on international duty against Armenia in midweek.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/liverpool-watford-klopp-hodgson-quadruple-26605074 Roy Hodgson gives his verdict on Liverpool's quadruple pursuit ahead of Watford clash