Last Sunday, Roy Hodgson was walking alone. After overseeing a defeat to Everton, which he labelled his side’s best performance since he took charge, many fans were left bemused at his bizarre claims.
Not only had Liverpool been outplayed for the majority of the Merseyside derby, they rarely threatened which was a damning indictment in itself.
However, a week is a long time in football and after gaining a creditable draw away to Napoli, Liverpool finally got back to winning ways in the Premier League. For once (contrary to the manager’s belief) the team played well and thoroughly deserved a win which fans have agonisingly waited for since the end of August.
Another bonus was Fernando Torres getting on the score sheet for the first time since August and finally looking like the player who has reached 50 league goals quicker than anyone else in Liverpool history. Perhaps Sunday’s victory could be the turning point in both the player and club’s fortunes?
Regardless, the Reds need to build on this victory in order to get their season back on track. Just three points separates 12 teams in the Premier League, and a good run of form would propel Hodgson’s men from the depths of the drop zone to the dizzy heights of the top half of the table.
But the coming fixtures will be anything but easy if current form is anything to go by. Sunday’s game with Bolton will be no walk in the park and Owen Coyle’s outfit will look to bully Gerrard and co off the ball, as well as hoping the physical Kevin Davies will prove a handful amongst the fragile Liverpool defence.
Recent history in this fixture suggests a win for the away side is a good bet as they have won the last three meetings at the Reebok. But recent form has hardly inspired many in believing the Reds can register their first away win of the season, and the squad will have to dig deep if they are to get anything out of the match.
To put it simply, Hodgson is hoping for a treat rather than a trick this Halloween, or else he could be facing a nightmare in Lancashire.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.