Roy Hodgson already decided on which West Brom players will remain at the Hawthorns
Thursday 19 April 2012
Roy Hodgson says he has already decided which players he wants to keep at West Brom next season.
Albion have several players out of contract this summer and have 12-month options on others including Steven Reid, Marc-Antoine Fortune, Nicky Shorey, Paul Scharner and Jerome Thomas.
Despite his confidence over who will stay and who will go, Hodgson insists there is still plenty for his players to fight for in the final four games of the campaign.
"It would be a sad thing in some ways if we are having to judge performances for new contracts on these last few games," he said.
"I've been working with the players for last season and this season and, if I hadn't made up my mind about the players I need to take us forward or not, then I don't think I would be doing my job.
"But a lot of players have got a lot to play for in terms of improving their chances of being in the starting XI come next season.
"They have a lot to play for in terms of improving their chances of stepping up the ladder in terms of their importance within the club."
Albion have already opened talks with right-back Reid, who impressed for much of this season before being sidelined with a foot injury.
Hodgson said: "Dan Ashworth (Albion's technical and sporting director) is having discussions with Reid's agent. Steven has done a very good job in the time I've been here so I don't think his current injury will affect him.
"It will be more a question of us being convinced he's a man that will still help us next year and he being convinced that he wants to be here and help us out.
"Dan will talk him through that one and, if he wants to stay, it won't be a difficult decision to keep him if they can reach an agreement."
Hodgson says any decision on Fortune will be based on his performances during his 18 months in charge so far.
Fortune struggled to make an impact early in Hodgson's tenure and was loaned to Doncaster, but has been a key figure in the New Year since returning to the Hawthorns.
Hodgson said: "Our decision on Fortune will be based on 18 months' work and not just two months, but it's been good for him that he has suddenly started to play well.
"It has made us realise the potential we saw in him is now likely to be realised."
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