Hodgson: Preparation key to success

West Brom manager Roy Hodgson has pinpointed the strong cohesion of his side as the root cause of their impressive form since his arrival.

The former Liverpool boss joined the Premier League strugglers in early February hoping to lead them from the mire of the relegation battle in which they had become entangled. His arrival at the Hawthorns marked an instant peak in form, as they went on a seven-game unbeaten streak that could only be ended by title-chasing Chelsea.

Refusing to shoulder much praise for this feat, Hodgson said his team benefited simply from being able to build up a head of steam.

He said: "Sometimes victories and good results generate their own momentum, so as a coach I am never 100 percent sure why a team is having a good run or why a player is in a rich vein of form."

Hodgson struggled to define why the players took to his arrival so well, but did describe the exact science behind how he shapes his side for success

"Results can only come one way and that is making sure that players understand their jobs on the field and are well prepared for the matches ahead," he explained.

"Most importantly we need the work and preparation for a match where you find yourself at the top or the bottom. That takes place on a training field and that’s where as a coach you need to have a good effect upon the players."

When asked to list qualities that typify a player suited to his system, Hodgson replied: "There [has to be] a definite element of desire, ambition and determination. Also being prepared to work, being prepared to show the right character, being prepared to make a special effort, possibly to get a team-mate out of trouble.

"These are all qualities that we are trying to produce in our players. If you are lucky enough to find a group of players who can give you that, then you can do great things."

West Brom finished the season in a creditable 11th position.

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By Killian Woods