Roy Hodgson feels the Liverpool side he inherited from Rafael Benítez is starting to feel like his own with every passing game, but admits it would take an influx of players akin to that overseen by Harry Redknapp at Tottenham before he can make his own mark on the club.
After a turbulent opening six months at Anfield — a period in which the 63 year-old acknowledges he struggled to transmit his beliefs to his new squad, suggesting he “could not identify with a lot of things that happened on the pitch” — Hodgson appears to have settled on both system and personnel.
He is likely to begin his work shaping the squad to his own wishes as soon as the transfer window opens in January —selling Milan Jovanovic could be his first task with Cologne and Hamburg interested — but insists this will not be a Liverpool team cast in his own image for some time to come.
“It is starting to feel more like my side,” the Liverpool manager said. “But it is still a team that I have not put together. I want to make that clear. I took the team over and I have not made that many changes. I brought in [Paul] Konchesky to play left back, Raul Meireles to replace [Javier] Mascherano and Joe Cole came in at the same time as me as well as Christian Poulsen. The other players I have inherited.
“I think I would be a good comparison with Tottenham because Harry [Redknapp] came in there just as I came into Fulham so he will just be completing three years and he has brought in a lot of players. So to really call it my team, I would have had to make a slightly bigger impact on those who have been brought in.
“I am more than happy to take responsibility for this squad but it takes a coach more than five or six months to make his stamp on a club. I am hoping we will do some good business in transfer windows to come and then I will be able say, ‘If you don’t like it then I have no one to blame but myself’.”