Hodgson backs Bruce to keep job

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West Brom boss Roy Hodgson believes the Sunderland board will stay calm and continue to back manager Steve Bruce despite the Black Cats' poor start to the campaign.

Hodgson's own side are currently second bottom of the Barclays Premier League after collecting four points from their opening six games. The pressure will inevitably increase on Bruce should they lose to the Baggies in Saturday's clash at the Stadium of Light after his summer spending spree.

But Hodgson said: "Steve is a good manager and has done a remarkable job wherever he has been. I think he and the club are more than strong enough to withstand whispers and rumours. I think it would surprise me if a club like Sunderland had any knee-jerk reaction."

He added: "I think the itchy-finger syndrome is with us all the time in football. We are used to that but only hope the people in football who make decisions make good ones."

Hodgson is backing striker Peter Odemwingie to recapture last season's goalscoring form sooner rather than later.

Odemwingie netted 15 times in his debut season for Albion but has been on target only once in an injury-hit start to this campaign and squandered a golden chance during the goalless draw with Fulham.

Hodgson said: "It is early days. He is playing very well in training. Like everything else, if a forward scores a goal from a goal chance, then he is said to be playing fantastically well.

"If he misses the goal chance, he is said to be having a bad time. That is what forwards have to live with. But we are quite happy with Peter.

"He looks very lively, very fit and we hope we can keep him fit for the next 30-odd games."

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West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Steve Bruce
Peter Odemwingie

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