West Bromwich Albion boss Roy Hodgson sung the praises of his players after they won 3-2 at Sunderland on Saturday.
Hodgson’s dream run as Albion manager continued as he went unbeaten for the seventh match in succession and saw his side enter the top half of the English Premier League table.
West Brom trailed twice but second-half strikes to Youssouf Mulumbu and Paul Scharner wrapped up a terrific away win, which left Hodgson glowing.
“I thought the players showed enormous character and ability in the second half to come out again and I thought, quite frankly, we were good value for our 3-2,” Hodgson said.
“Today was a very important victory, because it’s not easy to come to the Stadium of Light at any time and win matches.”
“And when you’re fighting for your life at the bottom to win, it’s even better.”
But despite sitting 10th on the table, Hodgson says his side are not safe from relegation.
“We’re not over the line, 39 points isn’t over the line,” he said.
“But it’s a lot happier position to be in, with 39 with six to play rather than 31 or 32 with six to play, which some of our rivals have got at the moment.”
Sunderland manager Steve Bruce lamented his side’s defensive errors and the fact they could not hold onto their 2-1 lead.
“We had a disappointing 20 minutes after taking the lead twice,” Bruce said.
“When you take a 2-1 lead at home you should be good enough to stay on and take the three points.”
“Defensively, we’re all over the place. That’s the big situation. We were rock solid there up until the turn of the year and now we have to score three or more goals to win a football match.”
“We have to go back to the training ground, keep working at it and get our defensive shape back.”
The result means Sunderland have won just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions and Bruce admits his side will have an uphill battle to turn around their form.
“It’s a big disappointment and we’re up against it at the moment. The only thing we can do is batten down the hatches, keep going and come out fighting,” he said.
“We’ve got to keep on going. All we can do is keep plugging away.”
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