Hodgson defiant under pressure

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Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has played down reports suggesting that former Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard is being lined up to succeed him and insists he is used to coping under extreme pressure after his time at Inter Milan.

The former Fulham boss has seen his new team struggle since taking over from Rafael Benitez in the summer and the Reds headed into their Barclays Premier League match against Blackburn today 18th out of 20 in the table with six points from eight games.

Reports have linked Dutchman Rijkaard with the Anfield job following his dismissal by Turkish side Galatasaray, but Hodgson takes the stories with a pinch of salt and he told The people: "I understand Rijkaard has just been sacked from Galatasaray - he must be a great manager to have been sacked by Galatasaray."

He continued: "What you are talking about is Frank Rijkaard's agent who is putting his name around.

"It's all speculation. I had two and a half years of that kind of thing at Inter Milan when every day there would be stuff in the newspapers that someone was going to get my job.

"It ended up with my being offered a new contract when I left for Blackburn! If I took two and a half years of that in Milan then I can take two and a half years of it here at Liverpool - don't worry about that."

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