Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

Hodgson plays down expectations after strong finish last season

The manager is realistic and cautious about the season, and as Shane Long makes his debut the club hopes to keep Peter Odemwingie.

Roy Hodgson is focused on making sure West Bromwich Albion avoid becoming victims of the Premier League's "second-season syndrome" ahead of today's opening home clash with Manchester United.

Hodgson, the manager, knows the expectation levels have been raised after 20 points in 12 games, following his arrival in February, saw West Brom finish 11th in their first campaign back in the top flight.

He said: "We did have a very good run, [and] only lost two of the last 12 league games, which is a good record for any Premier League team. We moved quite a few places up the table. As a result we have made a rod for our own back to some extent. People will expect more of us than had we avoided relegation on goal difference.

"But I can't stop preaching the most important thing is our second year in the Premier League - and everyone knows that is notoriously the most dangerous year after being promoted."

Shane Long is poised to make his debut after moving from Reading in an initial 4.5 million (Dh26.7m) deal- West Brom's sixth signing of the summer.

Hodgson believes the 24-year-old striker can eventually attain even greater heights in his career.

"We believe, perhaps, that he will go on to even bigger and better things. If that is the case, we can only wish him well. But at the moment, we are looking forward to working with him here and him helping us to get some good results," Hodgson said.

Hodgson is optimistic Peter Odemwingie will sign a new contract after the club rejected an undisclosed bid from Wigan Athletic for the Nigeria striker.

"We believe Peter is very much a part of our set-up, and I think he's happy here. We certainly appreciate him, and it's important to be somewhere you're appreciated.

"I'll be very disappointed if he left us. We owe him a debt, but to some extent he owes the club a debt because we were the club that gave him a chance."

Hodgson recently celebrated his 64th birthday and can see himself emulating United's Sir Alex Ferguson in remaining in management.

"Will I go on as long as Sir Alex? Yes, I can see that. I admire what he's done, and I like the fact he has done what he wants to do," he said.

"He's only carrying on because he enjoys doing it. He's good at it, of course, but he is carrying on because he enjoys it and he still wants to do it."

Hodgson expects United to again be major title contenders but is relishing rather than fearing the opening fixture of the campaign.

"The games against the champions of England are always the games you look forward to," he said.

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Glenn Maxwell's knock that followed ensured Brendon McCullum's knock went in vain after his explosive half-century took Chennai Super Kings past the 200-mark. Ravindranath K / The National

All is well with Punjab as Maxwell and Miller seal win against Chennai

The Australian missed out on a century but his 95 runs, along with Miller's unbeaten half-century, ensured Kings XI scaled a mighty peak of a target in a hot first game of Abu Dhabi's double-header.

 Sunderland manager Gus Poyet protests during the Premier League match against Crystal Palace at The Stadium of Light in Sunderland, northeast England, on March 15, 2014. Ian MacNicol / AFP

Sunderland going out of Premier League with a grumble

Northeast club have underwhelmed during seven-year stay in the top flight

 Hamburg players leave the field after the match against Borussia Moenchengladbach on March 30, 2014. AFP

Hamburg the dinosaur’s time may be up in Bundesliga

Ever-present for 51 years in the German top-flight, Hamburg face the prospect of relegation, writes Ian Hawkey.

 At 105 kg, Gabrielle Garcia has dominated the world circuit and loves many things about being in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Garcia seeks fresh challenge in MMA after her jiu-jitsu domination

Brazilian prides being a lioness in the sport but feels she can shed 25kg weight to pursue her MMA debut aspirations.

 England's Jonathan Trott hits out during the ICC Champions Trophy semi final match against South Africa at The Oval cricket ground, London June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Philip Brown

England’s Jonathan Trott sidelined with stress-related illness again

Jonathan Trott is to take a second break from professional cricket because of his stress-related illness as England and Wales Cricket Board and Warwickshire confirmed he will stop playing with immediate effect.

 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho looks on during the Premier League match between Swansea City and Chelsea at the Liberty Stadium on April 13, 2014 in Swansea, Wales. Chris Brunskill/Getty Images

‘That’s why we are a top club’ says Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech

Jose Mourinho’s men will temporarily claim the Premier League top spot if they beat Sunderland, leaving them in control of their own destiny in the title race ahead of a crucial trip to face Liverpool at Anfield on April 27.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National