Roy happy with Cole effort

Reds boss confident playmaker will rediscover form

Cole: Not at his best

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Roy Hodgson admits Joe Cole is experiencing some difficulties at present but is confident he will come good.

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Liverpool's summer capture of the England international was regarded as quite a coup, with his free agent switch bringing experience and creativity to the Anfield ranks.

Unfortunately he is yet to make the expected impact on Merseyside, with his performance levels still some way short of his best.

Cole's toils continued on Wednesday when he was involved in the Reds' Europa League meeting with Utrecht, a game which ultimately finished goalless.

Hodgson conceded after that contest that his playmaker in chief is struggling for form but is convinced that his hard work will pay dividends eventually.

High standards

"He's like anybody else. Players like Joe Cole play on fairly small margins," said the Liverpool boss.

"He sets himself high standards and he is an honest lad. He will have come off the field feeling that wasn't the performance he wanted to give. He will feel that he is better than that and can do better than that.

"It was just unfortunate that he wasn't able to show that. It certainly wasn't for want of trying or lack of effort or desire. It just didn't go his way and I'm afraid that can happen in football.

"We must give Utrecht credit as well, they are very organised and disciplined defensively.

"They get a lot of players back behind the ball and don't concede a lot of space, as their results away from home in this competition prove. They have actually let in more goals at home because away from home they have got a 0-0, a 1-1 and a 0-0."