West Brom manager Roy Hodgson facing midfield selection headache

Baggies boss admits that finding the right formula in midfield is tough as he has many options but hopes that his players will understand and accept him rotating his squad
Roy Hodgson is facing a selection crisis at West Brom, because he has too many midfielders.

Hodgson has identified no fewer than eight players that he considers first teamers in his midfield and admits that finding a place for them all in the team is tricky.

"You have to assess what players can and can't do on the field," Hodgson is quoted as saying by the club's official website.

"[Paul] Scharner is a very different player to [Youssouf] Mulumbu, who is different to [Graham] Dorrans, who is different to [Chris] Brunt, who is different to [Jerome] Thomas, who is different to [Zoltan] Gera, who is different to [James] Morrison, who is different to [George] Thorne so there are eight of them - yet only four can play.

"If I played Dorrans and Scharner and left Mulumbu out, people would have said he was the player of the year last season and has done okay so why is he not in the team?

"If I'd have left Brunt out people would have said that's a strange thing, and if I'd left Thomas out people would have said Fulham have trouble at full-back, the two full-backs are vulnerable, why didn't you play Thomas?"

"The only truthful answer is that it's a six and two threes job," he added.

"It's my job to try to make sure all those players keep working hard, keep the faith, keep trying to get in the team and keep competing, because that will raise our standard.

"They are at a good Premier League club and they are earning good salaries and there have to be some demands put upon them to say 'you knew when you signed a contract that there wouldn't just be an XI with your place guaranteed every week'.

"They knew there would be competition for places and it would be the head coach's job to make the decisions. They signed up for it, so they have to get on with it.

"I expect the players to do that but I also try to make sure, from a personal point of view, that I keep everyone on board as much as possible and keep their mood up because I know we're going to need them all."