Belfast Telegraph

Baggies search for Hodgson replacement

West Brom will start their search for head coach Roy Hodgson's successor with chairman Jeremy Peace admitting he will be "a hard act to follow".

Hodgson has ended his 15-month spell in charge at the Hawthorns to become England's new head coach. The 64-year-old will remain in charge of the Baggies for the final two Barclays Premier League matches of the campaign, and Peace has already turned his attention to finding a replacement.

Peace said: "The board will now concentrate on the important task of appointing a new head coach to continue our project as we prepare for a third successive season in the Barclays Premier League. We did not want Roy to leave and he will be a tough act to follow."

He added: "But I want to reassure our supporters that we will do everything possible to identify and appoint the right head coach for this football club."

Birmingham boss Chris Hughton is believed to amongst the potential candidates being viewed by Albion.

Hughton was a free agent after leaving Newcastle and close to being appointed before Hodgson became available after leaving Anfield.

Peace admitted: "We would have liked Roy to sign a new contract, which was in the process of negotiation, and remain as our head coach.

"But we understand Roy's desire to take the England job and he will leave us after the Arsenal game on May 13 with our best wishes.

"Of course, with Euro 2012 around the corner, we appreciate that some of Roy's focus over the next 12 days will be on England matters.

"But we are delighted he will be seeing the season out with us. With the help of the coaching staff, he will prepare the team in his usual, meticulous manner as we finish what has already been a successful season."

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