Hodgson upbeat despite defeat

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Football News

West Brom manager Roy Hodgson admitted he was not "particularly sad" at his side's 2-1 extra time Carling Cup third-round exit at Everton.

The Baggies were a minute away from winning after Chris Brunt's penalty midway through the second half only for Marouane Fellaini to volley in an equaliser. Everton captain Phil Neville then popped up with the winner in the 103rd minute.

"It is very easy to draw a line under this and move on," said Hodgson.

"Any game you lose, even if it's in extra-time after a good performance, you don't feel great about it but on the other hand our priority is the league. Our goal is not to win the League Cup it is to get another season in the Premier League and, to be quite frank, it can be counter-productive for teams like ourselves.

"I couldn't ask for more than the players gave and had we won it I would have been happy. But losing it in the way we did doesn't make me particularly sad. That is what we have to make certain we are ready for it and in actual fact I would have preferred if Everton had scored their two goals in the 89th and 90th minutes.

"We wouldn't have had to waste 30 minutes of running for players who are playing on Saturday. We've drawn 1-1 in 90 minutes and more than deserved it. It was a wonderful cup tie and I thought both teams played well - particularly us for long periods. I'm a bit saddened with two minutes to go we conceded a goal.

"But changing the team as much as I did (making nine changes) I thought they did exceptionally well and I thought we deserved the win after 90 minutes."

Everton assistant manager Steve Round was naturally pleased to progress having been so close to going out.

"We know Roy's teams are well organised and tough to beat and we found it difficult to break them down," he said.

"We had a lot of possession in the first half but couldn't turn that into chances and you are always susceptible to the sucker punch and we got caught on the break. Luckily right at the death, Fellaini pops up with a great goal and into extra-time Phil Neville produces a wonder-strike to win it. We are delighted we are in the hat for the next round."

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West Bromwich Albion
Chris Brunt
League Cup
Premier League
Marouane Fellaini
Phil Neville

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