Belfast Telegraph

Hodgson can smell survival

Roy Hodgson is targeting three more points to keep West Brom in the Barclays Premier League and complete another rescue mission.

Hodgson, who dragged Fulham out of trouble three seasons ago, saw his side ease themselves seven points clear of the drop zone with a 3-2 victory at Sunderland which extended their recent unbeaten Premier League run to a club record seven games. However, he believes the Baggies are not yet safe.

Hodgson said: "I think we will need 42 points, so 39 is a damn sight closer to 42 than 32, that's for sure. But on the other hand, I won't be opening any bottles of champagne until such time as the 42-point mark is reached - and even then, it might not be mathematical."

He added: "But I have got to say with so many teams involved, the teams at the bottom now are going to have to play unbelievably well if they are going to take 10 or 11 points from the remaining six games.

"That's the type of form that would win you the Barclays Premier League, let alone keep you in it.

"If we can get to 42, we will be well on the way. And anyway with six games to play, this team doesn't like to lose, it's not a team that takes its foot off the pedal at any time, so who knows?

"We might get even more points than 42, that's what we will be playing for."

The win at the Stadium of Light eased West Brom into 10th place in the table, but they had to come from behind twice before securing the points.

Sunderland looked to be on their way when Nicky Shorey headed Asamoah Gyan's cross into his own net under pressure from Ahmed Elmohamady. Even when the impressive Peter Odemwingie levelled 19 minutes later, Phil Bardsley restored order with a 31st-minute thunderbolt, his third goal of the season.

However, Youssouf Mulumbu's 54th-minute equaliser gave the Baggies the platform to dominate after the break, and they made the pressure pay 18 minutes from time when Paul Scharner fired home the winner from Odemwingie's pull-back.


From Belfast Telegraph