Hodgson downplays AJ talk
Roy Hodgson has played down reports linking West Brom with a move for Fulham's Andy Johnson.
Last Updated: 01/05/11 5:20pm
Roy Hodgson has played down reports linking West Brom with a move for Fulham striker Andy Johnson.
The forward, who played under Hodgson during his time at Craven Cottage, has been tipped for a reunion with his former boss despite being contracted to Fulham until the summer of 2012.
However, the Baggies boss has cooled any interest, although he admits to being a big admirer of the player.
Hodgson said: "Andy is a wonderful player, a wonderful person. It would be wrong of me at this moment in time to discuss players.
"All I'll have to say is any players we bring in to complement what we have got will have to be the right type.
"What we cannot afford to do is duplicate players of very similar types.
"But, if you are asking me my opinion of Andy Johnson, it is sky high, as it is with Bobby Zamora.
"They are first-class blokes, first-class players and wherever Andy goes, the club that gets him is lucky to have him."
Hodgson is hopeful of keeping leading scorer Peter Odemwingie at the club after virtually guaranteeing Premier League football for another campaign with a dramatic 2-1 win over West Midlands rivals Aston Villa on Saturday.
Odemwingie has been the subject of speculation suggesting he may leave the Baggies this summer after scoring 14 goals in his first season in English football.
And Hodgson said: "You can't stop people like Peter attracting attention. Our aim with Peter is to make sure he is happy here with us and he wants to stay with us.
"I don't know what offers will come our way for him and, if they do, we will have to deal with them. But our intention is to build on what we are doing at the moment.
"We've laid some sort of foundation, our aim is to build on it and make the place a lot stronger.
"We are not going to do that by messing around with our current foundations.
"People like Chris Brunt, Peter Odemwingie and Youssouf Mulumbu, just to name three, are very much a part of our foundations."
Hodgson added: "His (Odemwingie's) goals have been vital. He has done extremely well. But it is still his first year in the Premier League and next year, if we can carry on working with him, and continue working at our game, he will get even better.
"Whether he will score as many goals I don't know, but he will certainly be a better player."