Liverpool boss jumps to defence of Torres

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Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has again sprung to the defence of striker Fernando Torres as the club aim to end their woeful away form at Blackpool on Boxing Day.

Their visit to Bloomfield Road will be the Reds' last trip of 2010 - a year in which their Barclays Premier League form away from Anfield has been woeful.

Hodgson said: "The important thing is your players keep getting in the right positions and if we can keep getting Fernando into areas where he can score goals he will score goals."

The players will take the field on Sunday with Liverpool having won just two away league matches in 362 days, a damning statistic which has in no small way contributed to their current malaise.

Not all of those problems have been down to Torres, who is understandably far more prolific at Anfield than he is on opponents' grounds.

And even though he seemed to suffer from a moment's hesitation when presented with a gilt-edged chance in the 3-1 defeat at Newcastle nearly a fortnight ago Hodgson insists the Spaniard is not struggling.

"The case all through the season is we have not been very lucky in front of goal - I don't think our goal return is not a fair measure of what we have created," said the manager.

"We have had our chances, we have created the danger but we have not converted as many of those occasions as we should have done and it is something we have worked on.

"The players are very aware of it because we do have goalscorers in the team and have one of Europe's best in Fernando Torres.

"He does not need reminding of when he misses a goal chance because I bet he can remember every chance he has missed over the last three to four months because they stay with people."

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