Roy Hodgson encouraged by West Brom resolve

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The Independent Online

Roy Hodgson believes West Brom have the fighting spirit needed for a relegation fight but admits his players have to learn instantly if they are to hold onto their Barclays Premier League status.

Albion rescued a point from the local derby with Wolves at the Hawthorns thanks to a last-gasp goal from on-loan Arsenal forward Carlos Vela.

That cancelled out the first half opener from another loan player in Jamie O'Hara, who has moved from Tottenham to Wolves for the remainder of the campaign.

New Baggies boss Hodgson said: "The performance told me there is fighting spirit amongst them, there is a lot of determination and character.

"I've been encouraged by what I've found. I don't really feel yet that I really know all I need to know about this group of players.

"But then, that's a no-brainer. How could you possibly when you come into a club with 12 games to go?

"I'm getting good help from the staff here. I'm learning as I go along and I'm aiming to learn very quickly.

"I'm hoping desperately the players will learn very quickly because we don't have the time.

"I've said to them 'it's no good us playing good football and looking like a good team in the middle of April, because that might be too late.'

"We've got to do it straight away and I thought today there were a lot of encouraging signs."

Hodgson felt Albion deserved all three points despite the lateness of Vela's first goal for the club.

He said: "I was certainly happy to see the equaliser but I thought we deserved better. I thought the performance throughout was good.

"When you equalise late in a game, you do have that feeling of happiness and satisfaction.

"But I'm pretty certain when I think back on Tuesday on the game I won't be quite as happy as I am at this moment in time."

Wolves boss Mick McCarthy was left to rue his side conceding yet another crucial injury-time goal, an unwanted trademark for them this season.

But he took heart from the overall performance of his side.

McCarthy said: "Of course it was a disappointing end. I am not going to try and deny that.

"The performance was very good. We had a really good spell second half when we should have got another goal.

"Of course I am down but I don't think you can detect that speaking to me. I'm not growling at anyone.

"I take positives out of the whole performance. If you let that goal at the end take away from the way we played, you will never progress or go forward at all.

"If I bemoan the fact we've got a point at the Hawthorns, not take the positives from it, then we'll struggle."



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