Hodgson happy with Reds depth

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Football News

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson is confident he has enough match-winners in his squad to make up for the absence of captain Steven Gerrard.

The 30-year-old is sidelined with a hamstring tear sustained on England duty in the midweek defeat against France.

"We have Fernando Torres, we have David Ngog who has scored some important goals, Raul Meireles can score goals and Dirk Kuyt has chipped in with plenty over the years," said the Reds boss. "We've got people at the back who can chip in with goals so I'm not that concerned in that respect."

Since the opening match of the season the midfielder or striker Fernando Torres have been responsible for either creating or scoring all of Liverpool's Barclays Premier League goals.

Without Gerrard it could be argued their capabilities have been reduced by more than half, with Torres relying heavily on his captain and still not yet as his consistent best.

"We haven't scored enough goals and not made enough of our possession in the final third," he added. "Let's hope that will improve and if it does then maybe we will take a little bit of heat off Steven Gerrard and in some way disguise his absence."

Defender Glen Johnson is set to return to action on Sunday after missing three matches with a groin problem.

There had been reports the England international had fallen out with Hodgson after being criticised for not reaching his best form this season. It was suggested the right-back wanted to leave in January but Hodgson stressed he felt the player had a long future at the club.

"As far as I'm concerned he has, and I think as far as he's concerned he has," he said. "Once again we're talking storms in tea cups and people trying to make something out of nothing.

"My relationship with Johnson has been very good since I came to the club, and he's always played in the team when he's fit. As far as I'm concerned he's the Liverpool right-back and the England right-back and we're very happy to welcome him back into the team now that he's fit again."

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David Ngog
Glen Johnson
Premier League
Fernando Torres
Dirk Kuyt
Steven Gerrard

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