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    Hodgson issues challenge to strikers


    by ODN


    Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has challenged Ryan Babel and David Ngog to prove they are good enough to provide back-up for Fernando Torres and save him the trouble of having to sign a striker in the future.

    The 62-year-old had wanted to bring in another forward last month to help ease the burden on Torres over the entire season.

    However, he admits there were no players which "excited" him enough to spend money late on in the transfer window, when additional cash became available after Javier Mascherano's £20million move to Barcelona.

    "I'm not that disappointed not to bring in another striker because I don't think there was a great choice of centre-forwards out there for any of the teams," said Hodgson.

    "I would prefer to put my weight behind David Ngog and Ryan Babel - who has never been given a proper chance at centre-forward - because we have Torres and good players who can play behind a lone striker."

    Hodgson added:"I will be using these players in some of the games in order to give Fernando the rest he needs and it will be up to them to prove to me there is no need for us to look further than those to players as Fernando Torres' competitors because they are perfectly good enough to do the job."

    Hodgson declared himself suitably satisfied with the club's summer transfer activity after bringing in the likes of Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, Raul Meireles and Paul Konchesky.

    He did, however, reject suggestions he missed out on signing Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart before he completed his last-minute move to Tottenham.

    Hodgson said he turned down the opportunity as he was looking for players to cover different positions.