Hodgson has empathy with McLeish
West Bromwich Albion,
West Brom manager Roy Hodgson is backing Alex McLeish to steer Aston Villa clear of trouble ahead of Saturday's derby clash.
But Hodgson admitted the verbal abuse received by McLeish after Villa's midweek defeat against Bolton is now par for the course in football. Villa are only three points above the bottom three as the Baggies seek their first double over them for 38 years. Hodgson said: "The reaction Alex received is par for the course these days. I think there was a time when it was quite unusual for a home team to be booed at the end of the game. I think we are getting used to it now. It is quite unusual if you lose a home game and not get booed off. That is more the rule than the exception. "I only see things from the managerial side. It has been a very tough ask for Alex this season. There have been a lot of things that have been beyond his control. He's not been able to field his best team and the injury situation has been quite incredible. "He has battled on very well under the circumstances and I have every sympathy and a lot of empathy with him because I know what it is like to be in those positions. Alex continues to do the job with great dignity, with great experience, and he will pull Villa through this period. "Then next season, maybe some of the players will come back that he has lost this season and they will have a much better season."