Albion won’t punish Morrison

Morrison hit out at Albion’s shortage of transfer activity after

Saturday’s FA Cup reversal against Norwich and claimed the Baggies

were happy “to just settle for being in the Premier League”.

But Hodgson has excused Morrison’s comments as those of someone

frustrated and hurt at Albion’s fourth round exit as he prepares to

face his former club Fulham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday

evening.

Hodgson said: “After a game when you are hurting, and someone

asks you an inflammatory question, you may not answer in the

diplomatic way you would do so in the cold light of day.

“It was a statement made in disappointment and there is no

disciplinary issue here.

“But this club is ambitious. It’s still trying to establish

itself in the Premier League for years and years to come.

“It has got to be done in the way the club is doing it, building

slowly, by getting a stronger squad every year.

“We are not going to go about it in the same way as, for

example, QPR who have had new owners, a new coach, and loads of

money. But when I signed for the club, I knew it was not going to

be that way.”

Hodgson will be returning to Fulham for the first time since he

left the Cottagers in the summer of 2010 to take charge of

Liverpool.

He said: “I had a wonderful two and a half years there. It will

be an emotional return but we will have to be at our very best to

get something out of the game.

“Fulham have had quite a bit of cup success but the main thing

about them is people now regard them as a mid to top half of the

table team in the Premier League.

“There is now never any suggestion that they will be relegation

candidates. The club has gone forward and is an example to

ourselves with the stability it has had these last few years.”

Hodgson will be looking for Albion to maintain their impressive

away form which has seen them collect 17 points compared to just

eight at The Hawthorns this season.

He said: “Our home record is poor and we have made life much

harder for ourselves.

“We have shot ourselves in the foot at times and maybe been a

bit unlucky but we have got to put that record right and also hope

our away record is maintained.”