Vela strike delights Hodgson

BY foxsports • March 1, 2011

The Arsenal star struck late on for the second time in eight days to earn the Baggies a point at the Britannia Stadium. Stoke had led through Rory Delap's 53rd-minute header but the Mexico international fired home three minutes from time despite appearing to be offside. Vela had come to Hodgson's rescue at home to Wolves a week ago on Sunday when he hit a 90th-minute equaliser and a similar intervention ensured Hodgson remains unbeaten in his two matches since taking over from Roberto Di Matteo. "We have the luxury of horses for courses and in Vela and Peter Odemwingie we have two very gifted players," said the West Brom boss. "I was not convinced the game would suit them in the early part and I always had the thought if it opened up in the second half they would be very useful players to bring on and fortunately I was proved right." There was an incident in the tunnel after the match in which Jonas Olsson broke the glass in a picture of the stadium. Hodgson tried to play down the incident but Stoke boss Tony Pulis was upset about the defender's behaviour. "I think one of the players had a bit of a fight with a picture on the wall and unfortunately won," said Hodgson. "There was a slight contretemps at the end of the game with the player being upset with one of their players not wanting to shake hands and he was a bit emotional. "We will happily pay for it but I hope it will not take the gloss of what I think was a very good performance. "I am pretty certain that a team that plays with so much heart and determination as Stoke will probably forgive us for breaking a picture." Not that easily though, according to an unhappy Pulis. "Olsson smashed some memorabilia and that is very disappointing when it happens. Hopefully Roy will deal with it," he said. "If you can't control yourself by not smashing someone else's property because someone refuses to shake your hand that is not an excuse. "That has been paid for by this club and he has no right to break things like that." The draw was enough to lift West Brom out of the bottom three, one point above the relegation zone. "I thought we did enough to get all three points," added Hodgson. "After the way we went 1-0 down from a corner - which is not unusual here - I was very pleased with the response of the players. "I thought they not only kept going but they took over the game for large periods and we created some good opportunities and fortunately one of them counted. "There were a couple of other occasions when we could have maybe got the winner but let's not be too greedy, let's be pleased that we have at least got a good point here." Hodgson had not seen a replay of their equaliser and he was not that interested in looking at it anyway. "Do I have to? There were a lot of bodies in there and I couldn't say whether it was (offside) or not but if we did get some good fortune I would say you have to work very hard to get that." Pulis was certain about the legality - or otherwise - of the goal. "It is offside. It is a very poor decision by a linesman who is looking straight at it," he said.