Hodgson wants Baggies to be a better fit in top flight


Roy Hodgson believes West Bromwich Albion must strengthen their squad if they are finally to lose their "yo-yo" tag and become an established force in the Premier League.

Hodgson has virtually guaranteed that Albion can look forward for the first time to a third successive season of Premier League football, but the former Liverpool manager, whose side entertain Queen's Park Rangers today, knows the Baggies must continue to bring in quality signings.

Asked what was required to take Albion to the next level, Hodgson said: "It will be to do with player personnel. We've had great help from the players at the club in my short time here and they've done an excellent job. If we are going to help those players get even better, and the club to become even more stable, we will have to make certain we continue to improve the quality of our playing squad.

"The main protagonists at a club are the players; they will decide your fate. They will decide whether West Brom become an even better club in the future or whether we sink down again to the boing-boing, yo-yoing type of club.

"I was hoping we would take one of the boings out of it and become the boing club!"

Hodgson refutes any suggestion that splashing out in the transfer market guarantees success. He said: "That is not necessarily the case because some of the players we've got who have done well haven't cost a lot of money. It means looking very seriously and researching the transfer market but it doesn't totally equate with money.

"There is no guarantee that Manchester City, for all the money they've spent, will win the title or that the money Liverpool have spent will mean they will be that much better. It is not as simple as that; if it was that simple, we might as well not bother to play."

Hodgson is looking for a positive response from his players after their 4-0 midweek defeat at Manchester City, the heaviest of his 14-month reign.

He said: "I don't think it is ever a shock that Man City win their home games. We went there knowing they had won 15 and drawn one and now it is 16 wins and one draw. I don't think it was a shock result in any way but it was a bad defeat and one all of us are very unhappy with because we pride ourselves on being a tough team to beat.

"Being beaten 4-0 is a heavy defeat, the heaviest since I've been at the club. It has been a bad couple of days having to swallow that. We've now got to try and get ourselves back on track today."

The QPR manager, Mark Hughes, has selection problems in attack for the trip to West Bromwich as the relegation-threatened Londoners look to put their away-day blues behind them.

Jamie Mackie, who scored in the 3-0 win over Swansea in midweek, and fellow forward Bobby Zamora have picked up knocks; if both are declared unfit it will leave Hughes light up front. Djibril Cissé is also out, serving the final game of a four-match suspension, but Shaun Derry will return in midfield, having served a one-game ban following his dismissal at Manchester United last Sunday.

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