Roy Hodgson vented his frustration at Liverpool's poor defending in their 3-1 defeat to Newcastle United on Saturday.
Despite the visitors equalizing through Dirk Kuyt, two late goals from Joey Barton and Andy Carroll condemned Liverpool to their third consecutive league defeat on the road, as new Newcastle boss Alan Pardew enjoyed a dream start to his tenure at St James’ Park.
Hodgson highlighted Liverpool’s inability to produce the same level of performance as they showed in the first half, coupled with defensive mistakes, for his side’s downfall.
“I was disappointed with the second half,” Hodgson told reporters after the game.
“I thought we dominated the first half, we certainly had a lot of the ball and we certainly had the ball in the opposing half of the field and when they actually scored the goal from the free-kick, it was probably the first time that the ball had been in our penalty area.
“We’d asked a lot of questions, at that stage, of their back four. So I was thinking, even at half time, that we’re not looking that bad, we’re playing the right sort of football, we’re getting in behind them on lots of occasions, getting into shooting and crossing positions.”
However, despite getting back into the match through Kuyt’s deflected strike after the break, Liverpool subsequently conceded two late goals to hand Pardew victory in his first game in charge of Newcastle. And, Hodgson believes that the new Magpies boss will be delighted with his side’s display in the second period of the game.
“He’ll [Pardew] be very pleased with the way they came back after the [game went to] 1-1, the fighting spirit they showed and I suppose that was encapsulated in the second goal where, really and truly, that’s a ball which should’ve been cleared by us on at least two if not three occasions before Barton toes it home.
“So I’m sure he’ll be delighted with their second half performance and their effort and their fighting spirit, but I think unfortunately a lot of that is down to the fact that we didn’t produce the level of performance that we produced in the first half where we not only kept them quiet, but I thought, gave them lots of problems to deal with.”
Liverpool’s defeat at St James’ Park came on the back of an impressive 3-0 victory over Aston Villa in their last league game, something that compounded the misery of their second-half surrender to Newcastle in the eyes of Hodgson.
“It’s a major setback and it’s a major blow because we’ve had a couple of good games recently and we’re on a good run and the way the second half went, with the early equalizer I had high hopes we’d continue to play at the level we’ve played at recently.
“But we didn’t, we let Newcastle back into the game and furthermore we conceded a second goal the like of which you don’t really want to see when you’re a coach.”
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