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Hodgson has Schwarzer and Houllier backing for Reds job

FULHAM goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer admits he would not begrudge manager Roy Hodgson if he walked away from west London to replace Rafael Benitez at Liverpool.

Hodgson is among the favourites to succeed the Spaniard, who accepted a pay-off to quit last week, and is the preferred candidate of ex-Reds chief Gerard Houllier.

The well-travelled Englishman, 62, has hinted he would be tempted if a high-profile club were to approach him and, although he is desperate to see Hodgson stay, Schwarzer knows the Anfield hotseat would be hard to resist.

“We hope he doesn’t go, we hope he stays at Fulham, but we will have to wait and see what happens,” said the Australia stopper.

“But I wouldn’t blame him at all [if he went], not at all. It is Liverpool you are talking about, a huge club, who normally compete in the Champions League every season. The gaffer is at that stage of this career where he is thinking ‘will this sort of opportunity come around again?’”

Houllier, whose reign preceded Benitez’s, believes Hodgson has the experience to succeed at Liverpool.

“Roy has done very well with an average team at Fulham,” he said. “I’d be pleased if he could coach Liverpool because he would deserve it. He is used to coaching stars, because don’t forget he was at Inter Milan as well.”

Former Reds striker Robbie Fowler is also a fan of Hodgson, but believes Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp would be the perfect appointment.

He said: “He’s done fantastic with Spurs and he would be a very good manager for Liverpool.”