Roy coy on WBA's survival bid

BY foxsports • February 14, 2011

West Brom head coach Roy Hodgson has admitted he is not yet sure whether the Baggies have the players to keep them in the Premier League.

Hodgson was introduced to the media on Monday, having replaced Roberto Di Matteo with the club only above the relegation zone on goal difference.

The former Liverpool boss was in the stands at the weekend as West Brom threw away a 3-0 lead over West Ham to draw 3-3, and revealed he is still to be convinced of the quality of the club.

"I'm afraid after 90 minutes working with them today and 90 minutes watching them on Saturday, I can't answer that question," he said.

"I would like to say so, but it would be foolish of me to make rash statements."

Hodgson takes over at The Hawthorns a little over a month after his short, ill-fated Liverpool reign came to an end, and revealed the job offer had come as something of a surprise.

"I wasn't actually planning to come back to the Premier League and keep working so soon after leaving my last job at Liverpool, but Dan (Ashworth, technical director) and (chairman) Jeremy Peace were very persuasive in the picture they painted of the football club."

Hodgson must now get straight to work in the relegation battle.

"We don't have much time, like a lot of other clubs, we're in a desperately difficult situation at the bottom of the league, trying to retain our status," he said. "That is the major goal and ambition, and if we achieve that we want to build a strong platform for next season."

The well-travelled 63-year-old claimed he did not see West Brom as a come down from Liverpool.

"All jobs are different, there is no question of that," he said. "The Premier League these days is a tough league, a very interesting league for any club that's in it, whether you're punting for a place in the top four or a club that would be very happy just to still be in it. Jobs in this league are precious."

In line with West Brom's management structure, Hodgson has taken the title of head coach rather than manager, but he insisted that did not affect him, having had spells working under all manner of systems around Europe.

"I've got the same job I've had since 1976," he said. "I've been called coach, mister, manager, leader...I'm the man who works with the players every day, who picks the team, gets them working in a certain way, and I'll be working with Dan here, who is very important to the club as we go forward.

"An important part of any club is recruitment and Dan and I will be working together to identify the type of players we need."

Ashworth said that Hodgson would retain the final say on dealings.

"I've always worked with someone like Dan," Hodgson added. "Whatever title he has or I have doesn't make any difference the slightest way."

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