Hodgson seeking derby boost

BY foxsports • October 15, 2011

Albion were one of the Premier League's form teams after Hodgson's arrival in February, 20 points from their final 12 games securing their top-flight status for another season. It has been a different scenario so far this campaign, with Albion only outside the bottom three on goal difference and playing catch-up after a difficult opening run of fixtures. Hodgson said: "We've had a mixed bag so far. We have the enthusiasm and desire and that's a good start. "We were very good in the opening two games against Chelsea and Manchester United without getting any points. "There are a lot of good players in our squad and there is no better place than a derby to get us going again." Albion defender and Northern Ireland captain Gareth McAuley echoed Hodgson's sentiments. He said: "The performance is the most important thing at the weekend. It's important to get the supporters right behind us and create a great atmosphere. "Then if we get a result, that kind of thing can kickstart the confidence and the togetherness of the whole club and the supporters." Hodgson has been in charge of derbies in England and abroad and knows the importance of them to supporters. He said: "If I said this derby was bigger than Real Madrid v Barcelona, most people would think I'm totally wrong. But the people in this area would not see that. Derbies are important to the local fans. "All that matters to me is this game, as I have an interest in this club and this area. "Derbies are about passion and skill. If it was just the former I'd go and pick the 11 biggest and most passionate West Brom fans but unfortunately, they're probably not that good at football!"

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