Downing hails Hodgson impact
West Bromwich Albion,
Keith Downing has revealed how the West Brom players are determined to finish the season strongly for departing manager Roy Hodgson.
The former Fulham and Liverpool boss will leave the Hawthorns after next Sunday's game at home to Arsenal to take up the England hotseat for Euro 2012 and Downing believes the whole squad are desperate to sign off the campaign with a win for him. The Baggies ended what has been a testing week by fighting back to clinch a 2-2 draw with Bolton yesterday with a late James Morrison equaliser, but the overall performance was one which Hodgson and his right-hand man were extremely satisfied about. Downing said: "Things were said last week about the timing of the FA's decision and whether we were going to take the game seriously and do it properly. "We knew the magnitude of the game for Bolton and the other teams in fear of relegation so we were very conscious of that. "And I think it's testament to the players, their concentration and their application." The Albion assistant coach is convinced Hodgson has left behind some solid foundations for his successor to build on as the club gear up for a third straight season in the top-flight. He added: "To achieve what we've achieved this year in what has been a very successful season - and then lose your manager - made it a weird feeling in the first few days of the week. "But when you get the balls out, the players get on with it and pretty much focus themselves. "Roy came in on the Friday and Saturday and we were preparing for the match. "This football club is renowned for going up and down. "But he has certainly established the club's Premier League status and I think the players realise that. "When you speak to the players as individuals they all believe this man can improve your game. "What he does on a daily basis will improve your game and I think they appreciate that."