Hodgson tips duo to shine
Baggies boss expects Odemwingie and Long to start gelling
Last Updated: September 29, 2011 3:35pm
Odemwingie: Yet to hit form this season but Hodgson feels he can partner Long
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson is confident Peter Odemwingie and Shane Long can forge an effective attacking partnership.
The Baggies have made a disappointing start to the season and their form up front has been of particular concern, with just three goals scored in six matches.
However, Hodgson was encouraged by what he saw from his strikers in the 0-0 draw at home to Fulham last weekend.
He believes it will take time for Odemwingie and Long to develop an understanding and hopes his patience will start to pay dividends against Sunderland on Saturday.
"I haven't seen it gel that well as yet but I think it will," Hodgson told the club's official website.
"It's early days in the season. They are both good players, both very dangerous in their different ways and both very capable of causing a lot of different defences a problem.
"But it is early days, they haven't really played together much, partly due to Odemwingie's injury early on, and I think the longer the season goes the more we will see from them.
"There were signs in the second half on Saturday that they were beginning to cause Fulham a few problems because the problems we caused them were in the second half."
Hodgson is not too worried about West Brom's slow start to the season, although he believes they deserve more than the four points they have so far claimed.
"If we had had five points, which we should definitely have had because the Stoke game was a point totally lost in bizarre circumstances, we might have been saying 'it's not great but it's not too bad'," he explained.
"We are that point behind where we want to be, and ideally we would have had seven or eight points and it would have been a very good start.
"But the fact is starts are starts, middles are middles and ends are ends and the bottom line in the Premier League is that you've just got to keep playing and keep trying to get points in every game you play.
"Last year the start was quite reasonable, I think, and then they went 16 games where they hardly took any points and we had to take 20 from the last 12.
"That is ridiculous really, because 20 points from 12 for teams like ourselves is going to be nigh-on impossible for the best part of the season.
"What we've got to keep doing is making sure every time we go on the field we're up for it, we're ready and we make it very difficult for the opposition and give ourselves a chance of getting a result - ideally a win but if that's not possible for some reason staying in the game for long enough to get yourself a draw.
"There'll be the odd game where you think you didn't get what you deserved but over the 38 games you have to believe what you do, how you play and how you shape up on the field will give you the results you deserve."