Hodgson: We wish you were here

West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson
West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson
Nathan Thompson played in a central midfield role against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Rotherham v Pompey: pre-match talking points

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Roy Hodgson admitted West Brom would have preferred to have kept new Blues boss Michael Appleton at the Hawthorns but said: We couldn’t stand in his way.

The Baggies boss saw his trusted assistant sign a three-and-a-half-year deal at Fratton Park yesterday to take up his first managerial position after impressing Pompey’s owners.

Hodgson believes West Brom’s loss is Pompey’s gain as he wished Appleton well in his new job.

The former Liverpool manager said: ‘We will miss him and, in an ideal world, we would have liked him to still be here with us.

‘However, I was fully behind the club’s decision not to stand in his way when this excellent opportunity presented itself and our loss is going to be Portsmouth’s gain.

‘I, and the rest of the coaching staff, would like to wish Michael all the very best in his new job and thank him very much for the work he has put in during my brief time at the club.

‘I realise what an excellent club servant he has been over the years and he fully deserves this opportunity to manage a team of his own.’

West Brom’s technical director, Dan Ashworth, said: ‘Michael has made no secret of the fact his ultimate ambition is to become a manager.

‘Over the past few years, several clubs have shown an interest in him but it was always going to take something special to lure him away from West Bromwich Albion.

‘With such a high-profile club like Portsmouth, who were FA Cup winners only three years ago and in the Barclays Premier League as recently as two seasons ago, coming in for him, we can fully understand why he wanted to take this opportunity.

‘I would personally like to thank Michael for all of his hard work since I joined the club eight years ago.

‘I have seen him progress from under-14s coach up to a very respected assistant head coach and I sincerely wish him all the best at Fratton Park.

‘Portsmouth have made an excellent appointment.’