Hodgson tips Torres for success
Hodgson's West Brom team face the Blues on Saturday, and the former Liverpool boss has backed the £50million star to deliver over the long term. "He's a very good player, a top, top class striker", Hodgson said. "It's not been a good season by his standards, neither at Liverpool nor at Chelsea, and no one knows that better than Fernando himself. "But when I watch him play I see someone who's desperate to put that right." Despite his confidence in Torres, Hodgson is hoping the Spaniard waits another few days before notching his first goal for Chelsea. "He will put it right, and it would not surprise me if he puts it right in the coming six games," he said. "I'm desperately hoping, from a selfish point of view, that he starts after Saturday and not on Saturday. "I think Chelsea have made an excellent signing and I'm certain they're going to get a lot of joy from him." Rather than a terminal decline, Hodgson added that he saw Torres' current predicament as a mere blip. He said: "All strikers go through periods where things don't go their way and the ball doesn't bounce for them. "In that period of time, they take the same amount of criticism as the amount of praise they've had in the past when things have gone their way. "Fernando's intelligent enough and mature enough to understand that and he'll keep working at his game and he will be a big success for Chelsea football club." West Brom are unbeaten in seven games, and have take 12 points from the six matches since Hodgson took charge, a statistic that has exceeded even his own expectations. "It's really good start, but unfortunately we are still in a relegation battle," Hodgson said. "We were sufficiently immersed seven games ago that even a good run of results like we've had doesn't get you out of it completely." West Brom have accumulated 39 points this season, and Hodgson is hoping that one more win will be enough to assure Premier League safety. "With so many teams involved, I don't think any coach could really tell you what the number required is, but I would like to think that 42 points would be enough. "We've got six matches to get points, and I would like to think we were good enough to get at least six points from those matches." West Brom have no new injury concerns as Graham Dorrans is the only absentee with the Scottish midfielder still recovering from an ankle injury. Hodgson has not set a date for his return.