Liverpool's manager, Roy Hodgson, has defended the club's summer signings ahead of Sunday's derby against Everton, accusing critics of the likes of Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles of being "naive in their expectations".
He added: "Quite a few of our players are new – some are new to the country and not just the club – so it takes time for players to adjust to that. We are naive in our expectations sometimes. We sign a good player from abroad and then expect him to go and play like Steven Gerrard from the first moment. That doesn't happen.
"That's our situation at the moment. It's a new team and a new venture. Maybe we've expected too much from some of the people – they are still finding their feet. But they are good players so let's hope they have the ability and quality to deal with it."
Meireles was signed from Porto for £10.7m, while Poulsen moved from Juventus for £4.5m. Joe Cole, Paul Konchesky and Milan Jovanovic also joined in the summer. They have seen the new club suffer their worst start to a season for over half a century, since they were relegated in 1953-54, with only one win so far.
Hodgson, however, believes his side – and Everton, who have fared little better and are ahead only on goal difference – are certain to climb the league. "It would've been nice if we could have been in a better position," said Hodgson ahead of his first Merseyside derby. "I'm sure my colleague David [Moyes] would be saying the same thing.
"It's a bit unusual to see a derby with both teams down there, but I'm pretty sure we'll see both teams in a better position for the next one. I suppose there is extra importance because both of us are desperately in need of points – but it would be nice if we could get them."