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First Team

Hodgson shares expectations of 'buoyant' West Brom

12 March 2021

Roy Hodgson outlined that he expects as much of a challenge from West Bromwich Albion as he would against any other Premier League side - describing the Baggies as 'buoyant'.

Sam Allardyce's men have collected five points from their last five games as they mount a late push for safety, something Hodgson credits with smart loan additions and the work rate of existing players.

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He offered his insight into the Baggies' recent form, saying: "I think the loan signings they’ve brought in have been very good ones. Conor Gallagher, who was there when we played the first game of the season [v West Brom], I’ve admired for a long time and thought that was a tremendous loan.

"Sam has managed to add four to that, all of whom are good players and are improving the standard of the team. On top of that a lot of players already there have responded to playing a bit better and they’re getting results or putting themselves in situations where getting a result is possible and that’s been going on for a while now."

Hodgson was then asked to explain how he approaches a game with a side fighting for its top-flight status.

"We’re fully aware that there are 38 games for us to play in the Premier League each year and there is not one game we can afford to treat differently to any other. Whether that’s Manchester City away or Sheffield United a while back, you have to approach the game in the same way.

"We know what we want to do, how we want to play, what problems we’re going to be faced with because we analyse like everyone else. Our job is there to be done and I believe the players are going to be comfortable knowing the job that needs to be done and comfortable about doing it.

"It all boils down to the referee’s whistle, crossing the white line and playing football. That’s where plans and preparation can go wrong because it’s a game and we’re dealing with humans, not robots.

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"I’m expecting to meet a confident, buoyant West Brom and a West Brom who are organised and know what they’re doing. We have to make certain we’re in exactly the same ballpark as them and hopefully play better."

Finally, the manager offered a reflection on his own time in the Midlands, where he famously saved West Brom from relegation before leading them to their highest league finish in over 40 years.

"It was a good time at the Hawthorns," he said. "The people there were very, very nice to me – I enjoyed the club and the 18 months I spent there.

"But unfortunately you move on to different clubs and however much affection you have for West Brom or Fulham a couple of weeks earlier, they become the enemy when you come as manager of another club."

READ NEXT: Hodgson - Clyne, Mitchell and Ferguson progressing

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