Hodgson: “We proved people wrong”

Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has spoken of his side’s “positive performance” this evening in the defiant 0-0 draw against Napoli in the Europa League.

Napoli 0-0 Liverpool Match Report

With Sunday’s Premier League clash against Blackburn on the horizon, Hodgson fielded an understrength Reds side, giving starts to teenager Jonjo Shelvey, Jay Spearing, Christian Poulsen and Milan Jovanovic.

It was a strong performance to hold out for the draw and David N’gog and Ryan Babel had chances to win it for the visitors late on.

With growing pressure on Hodgson and the team before the game, the manager was pleased to go back to Merseyside with a point and sitting top of the group.

He said, “It was a very positive performance in many respects and a good point – a point maybe many people didn’t think we would be capable of getting here with the team selected.

“But the team proved people wrong in that respect and their efforts on the field were very commendable. I don’t think we should be anything other than delighted with the fact we played well, got the point and are still top of the table.

“All of us in this group are going to be required to do that (rest players) if we’re going to take the league serious, in particular for Napoli and ourselves in important leagues, we need to make certain we use the players at our disposition. If your squad is any good, the players will be able to step up and deal with it.

“That was definitely the case for us tonight. We stepped up to the plate and dealt with it. A lot of players, like Jonjo Shelvey, we’re doing so for the very first time and we did it in a very tough atmosphere. Napoli is a difficult place to come and play at any time.

“Tonight we have to be satisfied with a good result after a good performance and I think we deserved it.”