Hodgson delighted by Gera deal

BY foxsports • November 20, 2011

Gera spent four years at The Hawthorns before being signed by Hodgson when Fulham boss in 2008, and he persuaded him to rejoin the Baggies this summer. The Hungary international has had a frustrating start to the campaign after undergoing ankle surgery but showed his quality during Saturday's 2-1 home win over Bolton. Gera completed his first 90 minutes of the season and set up winger Jerome Thomas for the first goal and linked up well with fit-again striker Shane Long, who netted the winner. Hodgson said: "If there is one player I brought to the club that everyone I meet pats me on the back for bringing back and saying 'what a wonderful thing you've done for us', then it is Zoltan. "I've not met anyone who has hinted it might not be the right thing and the largest cheers and greatest reception against Bolton were for Zoltan. "I never doubted him. He did a great job for me at Fulham and he was a free transfer. It was a no-brainer for me persuading him to come back to West Brom. "My only fear was there might be other clubs competing with us who might offer him more or persuade him his future was better there. "I never had doubts that, if we could persuade him to come back, we would have a good player on our hands. "He has great versatility. He played in that second striker role against Bolton, which he did quite often for me at Fulham, but he also did a fantastic job for me in the wide areas." Gera admits it was an emotional occasion against the Trotters and he enjoys partnering Long who came back a month earlier than expected from a knee injury. He said: "There was lots of emotion for me with it being my first game at home since I came back because I remember I played my first Premier League game against Bolton here many years ago. "There was a fantastic feeling for me, the supporters gave me lots of confidence which is very important for the players. "I enjoy playing with Shane, he gives lots of options. He is a great player, he makes it easier for me, and I'm happy playing there behind the striker. "But there are also some very good midfielders so it is easy to play for this team." Bolton remain in the bottom three following a second half fade-out after Ivan Klasnic's penalty had cancelled out Thomas' opener. Owen Coyle said: "There was a chance to move into a group of teams in the middle of the league and we've let it pass us by. "We can't pass those sort of opportunities up and I've stressed that to the players. "It's all very well going away after the game hurting - but the players have to make sure they are hurting on the pitch. "They have to show that tenacity and drive when they are behind to get a result and we didn't do that well enough in the second half. "That is frustrating and galling after the team performed so well against Stoke before the international break." Thomas latched onto Gera's through-ball to open the scoring but then fouled Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba to enable Klasnic to equalise from the spot. Long's glancing header from the recalled left-back Nicky Shorey's cross settled the issue with his fourth goal of the season.


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