Hodgson supports McLeish
West Brom's Roy Hodgson has backed his under-fire opposite number, Alex McLeish, to navigate Aston Villa to safety.
Last Updated: 27/04/12 5:41pm
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson has backed his under-fire opposite number, Alex McLeish, to navigate Aston Villa to safety.
Villa are just three points above the relegation zone and have only three games left to protect their Premier League status.
McLeish revealed he received a wave of abuse from the Villa fans following their 2-1 defeat against Bolton in midweek.
However, they can expect little sympathy from their Midlands rivals who are intent on claiming a league double over them for the first time in 38 years.
"The reaction Alex received is par for the course these days. I think there was a time when it was quite unusual for a home team to be booed at the end of the game," said Hodgson.
"I think we are getting used to it now. It is quite unusual if you lose a home game and not get booed off. That is more the rule than the exception.
"I only see things from the managerial side. It has been a very tough ask for Alex this season."
Hodgson, who experienced a difficult spell at the helm of Liverpool, was very understanding of McLeish's plight and praised the way he has handled this difficult period.
"There have been a lot of things that have been beyond his control. He's not been able to field his best team and the injury situation has been quite incredible," said Hodgson.
"He has battled on very well under the circumstances and I have every sympathy and a lot of empathy with him because I know what it is like to be in those positions.
"Alex continues to do the job with great dignity, with great experience, and he will pull Villa through this period.
"Then next season, maybe some of the players will come back that he has lost this season and they will have a much better season."