Hodgson sets Meite challenge

Baggies boss prepared to give defender every chance to earn new deal

Meite: Back in favour

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Roy Hodgson has called on Abdoulaye Meite to maintain his impressive form and earn a new deal at West Brom.

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The Ivory Coast international will see his current contract with the Baggies come to an end in the summer after three years at The Hawthorns.

West Brom do have the option of a further year, though, should they wish to retain the services of the combative centre-half.

There appeared to be little chance of Meite earning an extension under former boss Roberto Di Matteo, with the Italian consistently overlooking the ex-Bolton defender.

He has, however, forced his way back into the fold under Hodgson and has formed a useful partnership with Jonas Olsson at the heart of the back four.

It is now up to Meite to prove that he is worthy of fresh terms, with Gabriel Tamas and Pablo Ibanez waiting in the wings should he allow his standards to slip.

"There is a great opportunity for him to earn a stay here next season," Hodgson told the club's official website.

Pressure

"First of all he has to play well enough to keep himself in the team because he's under pressure from the two that aren't playing at the moment.

"But if he can continue and do as well as he has done in the last two games alongside Olsson - the two of them play well together - there is no reason why one would be looking to break that up.

"His fortune I suppose is that I came in with a fresh start and gave him his opportunity, which he'd not been given before.

"If you're a defender that can often be the case unfortunately. It's hard because if you don't get games how can you persuade the coach you're better than the guy who has got the shirt?

"If you're a forward or midfielder you get more chances because you are subbed on and off more often.

"If you're a full-back or centre-back you either tend to play or not play. And if you're playing and the team's doing well the poor guy who's waiting for his chance has to keep waiting."

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