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Liverpool chief executive Rick Parry has insisted that the club’s beleaguered manager Gerard Houllier retains the full support of the board, despite the club’s recent slump.

Liverpool have taken only four points from a possible 30 and following their New Year’s Day loss at Newcastle, Houllier conceded that the title is now beyond them. The decline has prompted some supporters to call for Houllier’s dismissal but Parry remains behind the Frenchman.

‘There is pressure here and rightly so and everyone is frustrated, but we still have the belief we will get to where we want to be,’ said Parry.

‘We go into the New Year still in three competitions and we’re still not completely out of the title race yet.

‘It’s been a terrific last four years and we are still going in the right direction. We do have high expectations and when the club has finished fourth, third and then second, there is only one place left to go.

‘We understand the expectation levels at Liverpool are high and that is what the club is all about.’

Houllier meanwhile, has asked his players to ignore the criticism and stick together.

‘There is a trend now of the phone-ins and the Internet, where a lot of what is being said can be very hurtful,’ he said. ‘I have got to tell the players to forget all about it.

‘We have to stick together to resist what is being said and written. I know it’s not going to be good and while people are entitled to that it can be very hurtful.’

Liverpool’s next match is a potentially tricky FA Cup tie away to in-form Manchester City on Sunday.

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