Downing - Baggies proved point

Albion No.2 hails Hodgson's impact at Hawthorns

Keith Downing: Has hailed the impact Hodgson has had at West Brom

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West Brom assistant boss Keith Downing believes Roy Hodgson's side made a statement at Bolton on Sunday in the wake of the manager's unveiling as England boss.

Suggestions were made following Hodgson's appointment by the Football Association in midweek that the Baggies would be distracted for their two remaining games, with the boss set to depart The Hawthorns after their final match at Arsenal next weekend.

However, Albion produced a spirited display against the relegation-threatened Trotters, coming from two goals down, including a Billy Jones' own-goal, to frustrate them in a 2-2 draw.

Hodgson's number two believes West Brom have proved a point to those who felt they would struggle knowing their manager is heading for the door.

Downing, addressing the press instead of Hodgson after the Bolton clash, told Sky Sports: "I think, speaking about the headline that was written before the game, in terms of the distraction and about the timing of the FA's decision, we really wanted to make a real statement today and come here and have a purpose to our football.

"We've done that and I thought we kept going. After the devastation of the second goal and the manner of how we conceded it, I think the players responded excellently.


"For the majority of the time we controlled the game. We've come and managed the game really well and in the end it's been a positive result."

The Baggies are on course for a top-10 finish and Downing believes Hodgson is responsible for them becoming more established in the top-flight.

The travelling West Brom fans were full of support for the outgoing manager, with many wearing England fancy-dress, and the assistant boss feels that is a result of his impact at The Hawthorns.

"We've had a structure and we've become a bit more of an established Premier League team now, and that's through Roy," he added.

"The gratitude from the players and the supporters today shows what a massive impact he's had on this football club."