Hodgson vows to keep West Brom stars and strengthen over the Summer

West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson says the aims to strengthen the side ahead of the new season in order to secure their place in the Premier League.

The Baggies ended the season in 11th place, well clear of the relegation battle of the last weekend involving five sides, but Hodgson is realistic about next year.

“I wouldn’t want to say anything on camera that would suggest being disrespectful to any of the players. I will confine myself to say that we are looking to try and strengthen in all areas because this is the first season after coming up and gives us a second successive Barclays League season and we all know how difficult that is these days when you come up from the championship to get two seasons in a row.”

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“We also know historically that the second season can be harder than the first. So we have to move forward possibly to stand still. We will be working hard to make sure we have a squad next year which is every bit as strong if not stronger than the squad we had this year. Hopefully the experience the players will take into next season will do us some good.”

Two key players that helped his side to a mid-table finish were Peter Odemwingie and Chris Brunt, and Hodgson is keen for the club to do all they can to keep hold of them:

“We are working very hard to make sure they are happy at the club, and we will do our very best to ensure that. We are a club with a very healthy economy. The chairman has a very clear idea of the direction that the club wants to go in.

“He is certainly more interested in retaining our players than selling them. So players like Odemwingie and Brunt who have long term contracts, I expect them to stay at the club.”

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