Sunday, July 4, 2010

New Manager determined to keep star players

New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson hopes to persuade star players such as Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres to stay with the club.

Hodgson officially took on the job vacated by Rafael Benitez on Thursday, and he will have to overcome the doubts of players and supporters ahead of Liverpool's first Europa League qualifier at the end of July.

Another player, Javier Mascherano, seems certain to leave with Benitez eager to take him to Inter Milan. Mascherano has already admitted to learning Italian.

First up for Hodgson was a meeting with experienced Anfield pros Gerrard and Jamie Carragher when he would outline his vision.

"It will be actions more than words,'' said Hodgson. "But my talk with them will be about how much I want to work with them, how much I want them to stay at the club, how much the club and fans want them to stay and that by staying at the club we can achieve as much success as they could find by leaving the club.

"That is all I can say to them. Then of course it is a case of making certain with your actions on the training ground and match days they see you are not just talking but are practising what you preach. I will be trying to persuade them that their future is with the club they love and have always played for.

"They are more than just Liverpool football club players, they are the heartbeat and very much the soul of this team. My hope will be is that they will give me the benefit of their services, just as they have given other managers the benefit of their services.

"I hope they won't be tempted, on the back of one disappointing year, to jump ship. I personally can't nail their feet to the floor. I'll try to convince them that if they stay here and have a good season then it's a good club to play for. It's out of my hands to an extent, but I do know the club is anxious to keep the players, I'm anxious to keep the players.

"We'll do all in our power to keep them. The fans are intelligent and know the situation. They can't expect me to give guarantees they'll stay on.''

Chairman Martin Broughton said of possible sales and thoughts star players may have of leaving: "I haven't personally had any conversations with them but conversations have taken place and we remain optimistic on that. I know there are rumours out there about the club needing to sell players.

"If I can just go on record again and say they are not for sale, we don't need the money. We don't have any desire or need to sell players in order to pay down the debt.''

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