Hodgson explains Utrecht mind games

Roy Hodgson pulled an early Christmas cracker last night, having us all fooled that not only would Pepe Reina start in net for Liverpool against Utrecht, but Fernando Torres would be involved.

Hodgson’s contradicting statements at either end of Wednesday caused much confusion, and with kids allowed in free to Anfield last night with a paying adult, some fans have accused Hodgson of saying Torres would play to pull in the crowds.

“There was no question of needing a name to sell the game,” said Hodgson after the 0-0 draw.

“I did honestly think it was a good thing. I didn’t mean to mislead you.”

Hodgson added that he had to think about Saturday’s Premier League clash with Fulham when making selections for last night’s Europa League game.

He continued, “With discussions with the conditioning people in particular, they persuaded me to see the error of my ways even though I had this vision of Fernando going out there and having a great 45 minutes and maybe scoring a goal and giving him a lift.

“He was quite looking forward to playing but when I got back to the club in the afternoon and started to talk about it again it seemed to me the potential disadvantages far outweighed the potential advantages.”