Cole backs Hodgson
Under-fire Anfield chief wins support from Saturday's match-winner
Last Updated: January 2, 2011 7:08pm
Cole: On the scoresheet
Joe Cole insists Liverpool's dressing room is fully behind beleaguered boss Roy Hodgson as speculation about his future at Anfield intensifies.
Even a much-needed 2-1 win over Bolton on Saturday - achieved by Cole's injury-time goal - did little to quieten the whispers which say the Englishman is living on borrowed time on Merseyside.
The spectre of Kenny Dalglish, the club's legendary former player and manager and currently employed in an ambassadorial role, looms ever larger over Hodgson's shoulder.
Owners New England Sports Ventures are considering who is the best man to lead the club forward.
And if, as it seems, Hodgson is not to be that individual and no suitable replacement can be found quickly, there is the option of bringing in Dalglish - the last Liverpool manager to win the title - on a short-term basis.
But Cole, who tapped home from close range in added time to snatch three points against Wanderers, insists the squad are doing their best to ease the pressure on Hodgson.
"We are all behind the manager. We all want to put this club in the right direction and keep working hard," he said.
"We are out there playing for the shirt and the manager. We have all got to stick together because there is no-one bigger than the club.
"I am really happy for everyone at the club; it has been a tough week for everyone - particularly the manager - but we've got the win.
"It is not just the newspapers, none of us like losing and getting criticised but half the battle of modern day football is dealing with pressure and kicking on.
"We are pleased for the fans, the owners and the manager but we have all got to stick together and kick on from here, it can't be a false dawn."
Hodgson began 2011 on a high note having just three days earlier endured probably his lowest point since taking over in July.
A home defeat by Wolves was bad enough but his post-match comments, in which he appeared to criticise fans by claiming he had never had "the famous Anfield support" was the nadir of his six-month reign.
It prompted 95% of 10,000 respondents to an online poll to call for him to be sacked, and although the win over Bolton lifted some of the gloom, Hodgson is far from secure.
Cole's winner at the weekend was the England international's first league goal since his summer free transfer from Chelsea.
"It has been a long time coming and has been stop-start with injuries and suspension," said Cole.
"I just want to play games now and get in the team.
"You can only get fit and get your confidence by playing football."