Meite aims to repay Hodgson

Baggies defender says difference under Roy 'like night and day'

Meite: Hodgson arrival was breath of fresh air

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Abdoulaye Meite has hailed Roy Hodgson for turning around West Brom's season - and his career.

The 30-year-old defender looked set for the scrapheap halfway through the season with Roberto Di Matteo having not handed him a single Premier League appearance before he was sacked in February.

Meite claims the Italian never explained why he continued to be overlooked as the Baggies slipped down the table, and that Di Matteo told him to look for another club.

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But the Ivory Coast international was given a chance to impress by Hodgson and he has been rewarded with six straight starts as the new boss has steered Albion towards safety.

"Hodgson has changed a lot and we're looking good," Meite told the Daily Mirror. "He's been a big factor for me because I didn't play before and I don't know why.

"I was professional, I did my job but Hodgson came and was a breath of fresh air for me.

"In January, Di Matteo wanted me to leave but I said I wanted to stay," Meite added. "It was a good decision for me and hopefully the club, too.

"I always believed I could play in the team and now I'm doing so, so I'm happy.

Mission

"Hodgson arrived and I saw in training the change because he looked after me and talked to all the players. It was a big change-around for me - like night and day.

"It's not finished yet because we have to get 42 or 43 points to be safe.

"But the gaffer has done great things for us and, if I can help the club to stay up, it would be a good way to say thank you to Roy - so that's my mission."

Meite made a £2million move to West Brom from Bolton in 2008 and could now stay on at The Hawthorns when his current deal expires this summer as Albion have a one-year option to extend it.

The former Marseille man has helped the Baggies up to 11th, with last week's defeat by Chelsea their first since Hodgson recalled Meite, and the centre-back is determined to bounce back at Tottenham on Saturday.

"We're playing well at the moment," he said.

"Tottenham have big players with big experience, but if we have a strong mentality and play with a good shape we can get a result. We have to keep working hard."

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