The West Bromwich Albion manager, who comes up against his former club at The Hawthorns, alluded to the problems he faced at Anfield with Dalglish's shadow hanging over him when he said it is "difficult to compete with icons".
Hodgson was sacked in January, after little more than six months at Liverpool, and replaced by Dalglish, who was given the job until the end of the season. The 63-year-old insisted he had no regrets about taking the position, but also made it clear that he never felt comfortable with Dalglish in the background. Dalglish applied for the managerial vacancy at the same time as Hodgson but was overlooked by the club's former owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks. He did, however, continue to work for Liverpool in an ambassadorial role that included some academy duties.
When Liverpool struggled under Hodgson – the club made their worst start to a season since the 1953/54 season – the supporters turned on him and chanted Dalglish's name. His position became untenable when unrest escalated after defeats to Wolverhampton Wanderers and Blackburn Rovers, prompting John W Henry, whose Fenway Sports Group took control at Liverpool in October, to relieve Hodgson of his duties on 8 January.
Asked whether he would have spent longer at the club had Dalglish not been in the background, Hodgson replied: "That may be, who knows? It's difficult to compete with icons. I came to the right club; perhaps I didn't come at the right time because Kenny did make it clear at that time that he wanted the job. But the people who were making the decision at that time decided to go for me. And, of course, as a result, that left Kenny in a difficult position because he was the one that wanted the job, so when things didn't go well having him in the background wasn't easy and wouldn't have been easy for any coach."
He added: "I took the job in good faith. I knew I was taking a risk because there was a change of ownership in the offing and I knew that in order to win the fans over we would have to have a flying start. When you don't get that flying start and there is a change of ownership, I'm afraid you are at risk as a manager, especially when there is a man of Kenny Dalglish's iconic stature waiting in the wings and prepared to take over."
Hodgson did not hesitate when asked whether he thought Dalglish should get the manager's job on a permanent basis, citing the Liverpool supporters' influence as so significant that it would be almost impossible for anyone else to succeed at the club.
"Yes I do [think he should get it] because the fans want him to have the job," he said. "He's got the backing of the fans and the fans are very important at Liverpool. If they don't give him the job now, then it's going to be a very difficult job for the next man who gets it because the fans want [Dalglish]."
Hodgson, who is unbeaten in four matches since supplanting Roberto Di Matteo as Albion manager in February, claimed that revenge will not be on his mind this afternoon. "There's no vindication factor at all," he said. "I have no regrets about going to the club. I would have liked to work longer; I make no secret about that. But, on the other hand, with it having not worked out, I am very happy to be back at a club that obviously wants me and is going to back me to do the job. As a result, I can look back on the time and just chalk it off as an experience and a not altogether unpleasant experience because I got the chance to work with some top-class players and possibly even to win the respect of those players."
Hodgson admitted he is unsure what sort of reception to expect from the Liverpool fans whose support he had questioned during his time at Anfield. "The reaction to my appointment was not well received from the bigger section of fans so I don't know if that has changed since I left. It would be nice if their reaction is a good one, but if it isn't, I will have to live with it. I'm sure the West Brom fans will buoy me up in the opposite direction."
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