Outspoken Morrison to dodge Hodg punishment
WEST BROM head coach Roy Hodgson won’t take disciplinary action against acting skipper James Morrison over his after-match comments and insists the club are ambitious in their outlook.
Morrison hit out at Albion’s shortage of transfer activity after Saturday’s FA Cup reversal against Norwich and claimed the Baggies were happy “to just settle for being in the Premier League”.
But Hodgson has excused Morrison’s comments as those of someone frustrated and hurt at Albion’s fourth-round exit as he prepares to face his former club Fulham at Craven Cottage tonight.
Hodgson said: “After a game when you are hurting and someone asks an inflammatory question, you may not answer in the diplomatic way you would do in the cold light of day.
“It was a statement made in disappointment and there’s no disciplinary issue here.
“But this club is ambitious. It’s still trying to establish itself in the Premier League for years to come.
“It has to be done in the way the club is doing it, building slowly, by getting a stronger squad every year.
“We’re not going to go about it in the same way as, for example, QPR who have had new owners, a new coach, and loads of money.
“When I signed for the club, I knew it wasn’t going to be that way.”
Hodgson will be returning to Fulham for the first time since he left the Cottagers in the summer of 2010 to take charge of Liverpool.
He said: “I had a wonderful two-and-ahalf years there. It will be an emotional return but we will have to be at our very best to get something from the game.
“Fulham have had quite a bit of cup success but the main thing about them is people now regard them as a top half of the table team in the Premier League.
“There is now never any suggestion that they will be relegation candidates.
“The club has gone forward and is an example to us with the stability they have had these last few years.”
Hodgson will be looking for Albion to maintain their impressive away form which has seen them collect 17 points compared to just eight at the Hawthorns this season.
He said: “Our home record is poor and we’ve made life much harder for ourselves.
“We’ve shot ourselves in the foot at times and maybe been a bit unlucky but we have to put that right.”
MOUTHING OFF: James Morrison
LENIENT: Roy Hodgson