West Bromwich Albion defender Nicky Shorey insists manager Roy Hodgson will have nothing to prove when former team Liverpool visit The Hawthorns on Saturday.
Hodgson was sacked in January after a difficult six-month tenure in charge of Liverpool which saw the Anfield outfit win just 25 points in 20 Premier League matches.
Shorey, however, believes West Brom’s unbeaten run since the former Fulham boss took over in February is down to Hodgson and feels the gaffer will focus more on getting a good result against Liverpool rather than proving a point against his former employers.
“A lot of people look at that [Hodgson meeting his former team], but being here all week and training-wise it hasn’t been mentioned once. All we’ve been doing is what we normally do and preparing for the game, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from the gaffer,” Shorey told Absolute Radio.
“[Hodgson has] a different approach to other people and everyone’s got their own ideas. I think it was key for us to just be aware of what was meant to be asked from each of us in the team and helping each other out a bit more, and it’s just a bit more of a change in mentality, so it has benefited us.
“Each club has got its own problems and obviously it didn’t work out, and that can happen to anyone, any manager or any player. It happens at clubs where sometimes it just doesn’t work for whatever reason.
“[Hodgson] is a good manager and he’s shown that and he’s proved that, and I’m sure he’s going to continue showing that.”
Shorey admitted that while West Brom have been focusing on their own game in preparation for Liverpool’s visit, the squad have done their research about their opponents, in particular new recruits Andy Carroll and Luis Suarez.
“It’s going to be tough, I think they’ve been an exciting partnership, obviously still bedding in together and Suarez looks a terrific player, and obviously Carroll coming back to fitness now, so it’s going to be a big plus for them," he said.
“You don’t want to get overwhelmed with worrying about the opposition, but you’ve got to know what they do and what they’re trying to do and the way we’re going to set up to face that, so you’ve definitely got to do your homework.
“When you play for a club like Liverpool you’re expected to go out there and play good performances each week, and nine times out of 10 you’re expected to win the game. So they’re going to be motivated, but I think every game we go into now is massive for the club, so we’ll be ready."
This Saturday Absolute Radio’s Rock ‘N’ Roll Football show travels to The Hawthorns for West Brom v Liverpool. You can tune in every Saturday on Absolute Radio extra - on DAB Digital Radio, 1215AM and online in the UK. For more go to www.absoluteradio.co.uk/football
By Vaishali Bhardwajcomments