Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson set for talks

West Brom manager Roy Hodgson expects moves to sort out his own future and that of players approaching the end of their contracts to be on the agenda now Barclays Premier League survival is virtually ensured.

Albion moved 11 points clear of the drop zone via Saturday's 3-0 home win over Blackburn who remain in the bottom three after a third successive defeat. Hodgson's own contract is up while the deals of defender Jonas Olsson and midfielders James Morrison and Keith Andrews will also run out this summer or in just over 12 months' time.

Head coach Hodgson said: "I expect I'll be sitting down before the end of the season. I'm very comfortable about that situation. It's not a problem for me if it takes to the end of the season or is done earlier."

He continued: "As for players, I believe Jonas Olsson is in talks with the club to extend his contract, as is James Morrison. Keith Andrews is not problematic. That just depends to some extent on other transfers because Keith will want to play.

"I don't want to tie Keith up to this club, when he's got lots of other opportunities, unless I can be sure I can offer him pretty much a starting place or close to a starting place in the team."

Another priority is securing on-loan Birmingham player Ben Foster on a permanent basis.

But Hodgson said: "Foster's future is out of our hands to some extent. You should ask Birmingham what their intentions are. Are they going to sell him, are they going to keep him? At the moment, all we know is they will make a decision regarding Ben at the end of the season."

Foster made a crucial double save to deny Ayegbeni Yakubu and Bradley Orr with Albion only leading through Martin Olsson's goal before later efforts from Marc-Antoine Fortune and Liam Ridgewell wrapped up the points.

Hodgson said: "I think we can relax now in terms of being safe but I hope we don't relax. I hope we keep working and fighting really hard to see how high we can finish in the table.

"We've got games against sides who have a lot to play for like Manchester City, QPR, Arsenal etc."

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