Hodgson with nothing to prove

Roy Hodgson

Roy Hodgson

New Fulham boss Roy Hodgson feels he has nothing to prove, despite getting the sack at Liverpool just two weeks ago.

The 63-year-old has taken over at West Brom after Roberto Di Matteo was sacked, and is tasked with keeping the team in the Premier League.

He starts the job today with West Brom fourth from bottom, and has 12 games to steer the club to safety.

He will have to work on the teams confidence levels first, after they squandered a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with fellow strugglers West Ham on Saturday.

Hodgson is no stranger to a dog fight, after taking over at Fulham in 2007 with the club well in the mire, and he guided them to safety, and then a UEFA Cup final in just thwo and half seasons in charge.

Whilst his spell at Anfield was disastrous, he feels he can draw on an experienced career that has seen him boss, Finland, Blackburn and Inter Milan among other teams.

When journalists asked the manager if he felt he had a point to prove, he was quick to reply, “No, I think my 36 years will speak for itself. I don’t think I’ve got anything to prove. I do feel I’ve got a very important job on my hands.

“I think a lot of people are depending on me to try and help the club retain its status. I feel that pressure, I feel that responsibility.

“But I don’t feel I’ve got anything to prove and I don’t think that the Liverpool players, if you spoke to them, would say I’ve got anything to prove either.”

He pointed out, “I don’t have any self doubt. What happened, happened. It’s in the past and as far as I’m concerned I’ve left it behind me.

“I wish Liverpool success, it’s a magnificent club with great people there. (I had) a great relationship with the players, they worked well for me.

“There’s absolutely no point whatsoever in talking about it.”

Hodgson also told of his pleasure at returning so quickly to the game and spoke about his role as head coach as one he had done with no problems in the past.

“I don’t know that I was planning to come back to the Premier League and keep working so soon after leaving Liverpool,” he said. “But Dan and (chairman) Jeremy Peace were very persuasive and the picture they painted of the football club was a very interesting one.

“I know that I’ve taken on a very difficult challenge in the sense that we don’t have so much time and like other clubs we are in a desperate and difficult situation at the bottom of the Premier League to try and retain our status.

“That’s of course the major focus, the major goal and ambition, and I’m hoping that we will be able to achieve that and then build to get a stronger platform next season.

“All jobs are different but the Premiership is a very interesting league for any club that’s in it.

“Whether it’s a club that’s punting for a place in the top four or a club that’s probably going to be happy at the end of the year if they are still in the league.

“There is no magic wand, there is no magic gold dust that you can sprinkle as a manager and make people better. You become a better team by working on the training field and then hopefully carrying that over to the matchday arena.

“We are short of time and we are going to need that bit of luck that also accompanies any work you do.”

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