Hodgson tips Tchoyi to shine
Final day hero set to become a 'very important figure' for Baggies
Last Updated: May 22, 2011 7:53pm
Somen Tchoyi is expected to become a crucial part of Roy Hodgson's West Brom plans next season after the midfielder's hat-trick heroics against Newcastle.
The Cameroon international scored three times in the second half at St James' Park on the final day of the 2010/11 Premier League to earn his team an unlikely 3-3 draw after being three goals down.
Hodgson admits that he knew little of Tchoyi after taking over in February and the 28-year-old, a signing of former boss Roberto Di Matteo last August, was largely used as a substitute during West Brom's climb away from the relegation zone.
But, having guided the Baggies to an 11th place finish, Hodgson is predicting big things from the former Red Bull Salzburg player in what will be his second season in the Premier League.
The West Brom manager told Sky Sports: "It has taken me a while to get to know him and luckily we have done the job (securing safety from relegation) without him.
"I have got to say that going into this game, the mere fact we have survived was plenty good enough for me."
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"But he is obviously going to be a very important figure for us next year.
"The more I have seen of him in training, the more I have got to see him in games, I have started to realise that he has got a special talent. He certainly brought it out today and got us a very valuable point."
West Brom went into the final game of the season with a chance of finishing in the top half of the table, but Hodgson, who started the campaign at Liverpool before being sacked, was satisfied to have fulfilled the priority target of avoiding relegation.
He said: "I have got to say that going into this game, the mere fact we have survived was plenty good enough for me.
"I was desperate that we didn't end the season on a sour note and it looked at one point as if we were going to.
"But all credit to the players and the fighting spirit they showed, and not least the quality of our attacking play in the second half."