Baggies boss finds pros & cons

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West Brom boss Roy Hodgson has praised Zoltan Gera after playing out his second Hawthorns debut on Saturday.

The 32-year-old produced an inspired man-of-the-match performance, and showed good energy levels and enthusiasm throughout.

The Hungary skipper rejoined the Baggies in the summer, and Hodgson drew attention to the fact that Gera's attributes mean he could be a Premier League star for a few years yet.

"Gera can never surprise me because I've worked with him for such a long time and seen lots of very good performances from him over the years," said the WBA boss.

"He can play on for some years because of his energy, enthusiasm and passion for game. That's part of being a top footballer.

"Perhaps the most satisfying thing for me in Saturday's game was the fact he not only played well and worked as hard as I expected him to, but that it was clear the fans realise he is a player who will do lots of good things for the club."

It is not all smiles at West Brom though, after Hodgson expressed contrasting views on Peter Odemwingie.

The former Liverpool boss cited Odemwingie's new contract as a reason for wanting more.

The Baggies boss questioned the Nigerian stars overall commitment, and said: "When you sign that contract and accept a lot more money following a good season, then you automatically accept that the club thinks you're the man and that can put pressure on you.

"I'm frustrated because we've got nothing out of him this year. Your star players need to be available for selection — the fact someone else might have come in and done well is irrelevant. It's been one problem after another"

Drawing a comparison to Gera, Hodgson added; "What makes it even harder is when you get a player who is frustrated or is frustrating it gets highlighted more when you have players like the Geras, Longs, Reids and the Thomas' who play through pain every week."

West Bromwich Albion
Premier League
Zoltan Gera
Peter Odemwingie

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