West Brom manager Roy Hodgson wants his team to reward the loyalty shown by the club’s supporters by avoiding the drop.
Hodgson’s men are only four points clear of the relegation zone with just seven games remaining, but their fight to avoid the drop was given a huge boost after last weekend’s 2-1 win over Liverpool.
On Saturday they face a trip to Sunderland – the team directly above them on the table – backed by an estimated 3,000 travelling fans.
Hodgson said: “If we do stay up it will be because of and for the fans because they have shown they will be completely behind us.”
“They were absolutely incredible on Saturday and I cannot thank them enough.”
“Even when we went a goal down against Liverpool – completely against the run of play – their support immediately buoyed the team and gave us the belief that we could get back and score the goals to get us back in the game.”
“They can be proud of the part they played and it’s been a long time since I heard a Liverpool travelling crowd as quiet as they were on Saturday – I don’t think they could get their voices heard.”
West Brom go into the Sunderland game boosted by the return to fitness of influential midfielder James Morrison, who missed the win over Hodgson’s former club last week.
“James Morrison had his first full training session on Thursday and came through it without any problems,” Hodgson said.
“He did a more controlled session with the physios on Tuesday, but if push had come to shove he could have been thrown in with the first team.”
“We had been cautious earlier in the week and he was fine in the full session so I regard him as being fit.”
While Morrison is back in contention, West Brom will definitely be without midfielder Graham Dorrans who has an ankle problem.
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