No 'itchy feet' for Hodgson

BY foxsports • November 18, 2011

Hodgson's current deal runs out in the summer and the club's sporting and technical director Dan Ashworth intimated this week that talks over a new contract will take place in the new year. But Hodgson is in no rush ahead of a month he admits will define whether West Brom will be relegation candidates or contenders for a spot in the top half of the Premier League. He said: "There is no rush from a club point of view or mine (over the contract situation). "I have not got itchy feet and am not touting myself around for a new job. "People know what I do here and there is plenty of time to talk about that. It is not bothering me at the moment. "Pulling away from the relegation zone is more important than worrying about my future." The Baggies have had a tough start fixture-wise to the campaign and have already taken on Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal - and lost all four games. But before Christmas, Albion will host Bolton and Wigan as well as visiting QPR and Blackburn. Hodgson said: "We are entering a very important period and the next batch of games up to Christmas are going to be the important ones. "They will show whether we can get close to the top half of the table or if we are doomed to be fighting in the bottom half. "We had a tough start fixture-wise. We started so badly in terms of points so I think we are pretty much now where we could hope to be. "But people tend to divide the Premier League up and there are more teams in the next run of games that people will be expecting to be in our sort of (area in the) league." Hodgson added: "Some clubs are viewed as title contenders, some Champions League (qualification) contenders, another group who purely want to avoid relegation, and a little group in the middle that could go either way. "But, if you are in the Premier League, you just have to be happy you are there and when you are contemplating any fixtures, they will be a challenge. "Every game is going to be an enormous test and that's the beauty of this league. "In the next few weeks we will see a lot of swing where teams get a win one week and people say you are only a couple of points off eighth place. "Then you lose the next week and people say you must be worried about relegation. Those of us at those clubs must expect and deal with that." Hodgson highlighted his point with the example of Bolton who put a poor start to the season behind them by thrashing Stoke 5-0 at the Reebok Stadium in their last outing before the international break. He said: "Bolton have had a tough fixture list but have been in the Premier League a long time and have had a lot of success during that time. "They are back in the mix because from the bottom club to eighth you are talking about a couple of points." Albion will give a late fitness test to strikers Shane Long and Peter Odemwingie who have been suffering with knee injuries. But midfielder Paul Scharner is again ruled out with a knee problem.

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