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Feb 11, 2011

Hodgson named new West Brom boss

Roy Hodgson has been appointed manager of West Brom, signing a contract that will keep him at the Hawthorns until 2012.

• Brewin: Hodgson's redemption?
• Di Matteo axed by Baggies
• Allardyce rules himself out of running
• Di Matteo shocked by sacking

Hodgson, 63, was sacked by Liverpool in January but has been given another shot at Premier League management by the Baggies, who parted company with Roberto Di Matteo last Sunday.

West Brom confirmed the news on their official website, revealing that caretaker manager Michael Appleton will take charge of the team for their clash with West Ham on Saturday.

"The Club are now channelling all of their efforts into supporting Appleton, his assistants Keith Downing and Dean Kiely and the players as they prepare for tomorrow's vital game," a statement on the Baggies website read.

Hodgson will be at the helm for the first time for the derby clash with Wolves at The Hawthorns next weekend, but admitted he was shocked by the speed of how things developed.

He said: ''It was not my intention to return to Premier League football this quickly. But I was so impressed by the way the chairman (Jeremy Peace) and the sporting and technical director (Dan Ashworth) sold the project to me that I was very happy to accept the offer.

''I am delighted that a club of West Bromwich Albion's stature has given me the opportunity to help them in their quest to retain their Premier League status and to build for the future.

''I hear that Michael has done a terrific job looking after the players this week and preparing them for tomorrow's game. I know from my previous visits to The Hawthorns the kind of atmosphere the fans can generate and I am sure they will get right behind Michael and the team.''

Peace insisted Hodgson was always Albion's first choice.

He said: ''At such a vital stage of the season, we felt it was important we identified and appointed the right man as quickly as possible. Roy emerged as the outstanding and unanimous choice of the football club board and we are delighted to have appointed our number one target.

''We believe his vast experience and knowledge of the game is exactly what we need for the challenge we face, both in the short and long term.

''However, as Roy has stated, the club's immediate focus is offering Michael, Keith Downing, Dean Kiely (club coaches) and the players all the support they need as they prepare to face West Ham. We're very grateful for the way Michael has taken over the reins this week. He has fully justified our faith in him.''

Hodgson will undoubtedly have one eye on April 2, when West Brom welcome Liverpool to the Hawthorns. He endured a disastrous six-month tenure with the Reds, which saw the club suffer their worst start to a top-flight season in 57 years.

And to add insult to Hodgson's injured pride, Liverpool have enjoyed an impressive revival in fortunes since Kenny Dalglish replaced him in the Anfield hotseat.

But Hodgson still boasts an impressive managerial CV that has taken in two spells in charge of Inter Milan, as well as international positions with Switzerland and Finland. And the Englishman was named Manager of the Year by the League Managers' Association last season after guiding Fulham to the Europa League final.

West Brom are currently languishing just above the Premier League relegation zone and Hodgson has been hired with a view to saving the Baggies from the drop, as he did when he was first appointed Fulham boss.

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