Hodgson shocked by speedy return

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New West Brom manager Roy Hodgson admits he never intended to return to management so quickly after being sacked by Liverpool last month.

Hodgson has joined the Baggies on an 18-month contract until the summer of 2012 as successor to Roberto Di Matteo. He will watch Saturday's home game with West Ham with first-team coach Michael Appleton taking charge. Hodgson will be at the helm for the first time for the derby clash with Wolves at The Hawthorns next weekend.

"It was not my intention to return to Barclays Premier League football this quickly," said Hodgson.

"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."

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West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Roberto Di Matteo
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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