thumbnail Hello,

Manager is thrilled to have kept Baggies in top flight and reveals he is trying to lay foundations that will allow the club to become Premier League regulars


West Brom boss Roy Hodgson expressed his delight after his side's 2-1 comeback against Aston Villa, a result which leaves them eight points clear of the drop with just nine points still up for grabs.

The former Fulham and Liverpool manager took over from popular coach Roberto Di Matteo in February and has transformed the side in his spell, losing just one in nine.

"From a selfish viewpoint, I'm going to have a wonderful weekend," he told reporters.

"It's a fantastic feeling with three games to go to have achieved our major goal of keeping West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League, so it's been a successful season.

"I'm rather hoping that we build on the foundations we laid this year to hopefully find a team that can stay in the Premier League year on year, and not consistently have to bounce back from relegation."

Hodgson was forced into making several changes to his team, with Chris Brunt, Steven Reid and Jerome Thomas – all mainstays – ruled out with injury, and the veteran acknowledged that it was a big blow as those that came in were unfamiliar with the nuances of the positions they had to cover.

However, he believed that his side showed great durability to come from behind and did not view the absences of big names as reason to be downhearted.

"We showed a lot of character, resilience and determination, because we were playing against a very good team with good players," he said.

"One goal down to a somewhat unfortunate goal and then we found ourselves down to 10 men.

"If you write about them, and I hope it's very nice things you write about them, they deserve it because if ever there was a game and we lost it there would be people saying 'we understand why you lost today', this was going to be that game.

"But we didn't lose, furthermore we won and what's more we broke a 26-year hoodoo."

Peter Odemwingie netted the equaliser, becoming the club's first player to strike in four consecutive top flight games, but Hodgson feels there is more to come from the Nigerian.

"His goals have been vital, he's done extremely well," he said."But I think Peter Odemwingie is a player who still has a large margin of progression.

"He's done extremely well and he's scored some spectacular goals, and he's scored some like the one today which I think are the most important of all.

"It's his first year in the Premier League, and I think next year if we can continue working with him and working on our game he can get even better.

"Whether he scores the same amount of goals I don't know, but he will certainly be a better player.

"Goals need to come from various sources. There's not a great deal of satisfaction as a coach to have the leading scorer in the league if the team is relegated."

Hodgson, who was sacked as Liverpool boss in January, had his name sung loudly from the home support at the end of the game, and asked whether it was a change to be revered by fans, he joked: "They used to chant my name at Liverpool as well."

Follow the Premier League LIVE on Goal.com:
Commentaries, Stats, Player Ratings and much more,
Visit Goal.com Live Scores!

Related

From the web