Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has left the club by mutual consent after seven months in charge and will be replaced by former manager and player Kenny Dalglish till the end of the season.
Hodgson was under constant pressure at the club and the mid-week's 3-1 defeat at Blackburn has proved to be his last game in charge. He was expected to face the media on Friday before the FA Cup face-off against Manchester United at Old Trafford. But the conference was called off by the club, further intensifying the speculation on his future.
Liverpool's principal owner, John Henry, commented in a statement in the club's website. We are grateful for Roy's efforts over the past six months, but both parties thought it in the best interests of the club that he stand down from his position as team manager. We wish him all the best for the future.
Hodgson had lost the confidence of the club supporters after a miserable run which included loses against Blackpool, Wolves, Newcastle and Stoke City before their demolition at Blackburn on Wednesday.
Hodgson said in a statement in the club's website, Being asked to manage Liverpool Football Club was a great privilege. Any manager would be honoured to manage a club with such an incredible history, such embedded tradition and such an amazing set of fans.
Liverpool is one of the great clubs in world football. I have, however, found the last few months some of the most challenging of my career. I am very sad not to have been able to put my stamp on the squad, to be given the time to bring new players into the club in this transfer window and to have been able to be part of the rebuilding process at Liverpool.
The club has some great, world-class players, with whom it has been a pleasure to work and I wish the entire squad well for the rest of the season. I thank those with whom I have built up a close working relationship at the club for their loyalty and support during very testing times, and finally of course to the Liverpool fans, your passion and dedication to the club will see Liverpool at the top of the game once more.
The twist comes before the crunch FA cup third-round tie against Manchester Untied on Sunday. However, Liverpool are in seemingly safe hands of former manager and player, and a highly respected figure at Liverpool, Kenny Dalglish.
Henry said in the statement, We are delighted that Kenny Dalglish has agreed to step in and manage the team for Sunday's FA Cup tie at Old Trafford and for the remainder of the season.
Kenny was not just a legendary footballer, he was the third of our three most successful managers - three giants. We are extraordinarily fortunate and grateful that he has decided to step in during the middle of this season.