Out­spo­ken Mor­ri­son to dodge Hodg pun­ish­ment

Midweek Sport - - TONIGHT'S PREMIER LEAGUE ACTION - By DAVE HARDMAN

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.

Emo­tional

“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

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