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Hodgson sticks up for Rafa

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has dismissed talk of Liverpool counterpart Rafa Benitez being under pressure ahead of the meeting of the two sides.

Benitez's side lost four games in a row before seeing off Manchester United 2-0 last weekend, but Hodgson has rubbished talk of the Spaniard having safeguarded his future with that victory.

He told reporters:"The pressure is from the outside and that's something we can do nothing about.

"I'd be surprised and concerned if the pressure on Rafa was coming from the inside.

"If the owners or players were doubting if he is the right man to lead Liverpool, then that would surprise and disappoint me.

"But that's not happening, instead the pressure is coming from the outside.

"Guys like Rafa Benitez, Arsene Wenger and Sir Alex Ferguson have faced pressure for years and accept it as part of the job.

"Every manager has to accept there will be a period when things don't go right for your team."

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Article title: Hodgson sticks up for Rafa

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