Hodgson - West Brom want Foster on a permanent deal

23 March 2012 04:46

Roy Hodgson wants to keep Ben Foster at West Brom on a permanent basis and also hopes the new England manager will try to persuade him to end his international exile.

Keeper Foster is approaching the end of a season-long loan with the Baggies and has played a key role in establishing them in a healthy mid-table position in the Barclays Premier League. But Hodgson, whose side entertain Newcastle on Sunday, recognises that Foster's parent club, Birmingham, will have the ultimate say on his future.

Hodgson said: "We'd like to keep Ben, for sure. He has done very well and everyone is pleased with him and he seems to enjoy life here."

He added: "We enjoy having him here and his form has been excellent. But it's the old story, he doesn't belong to us, he is contracted to Birmingham. They will decide his future not us, unfortunately."

Foster opted 12 months ago not to make himself available for his country after only a handful of appearances under Fabio Capello.

Hodgson said: "It is not my job to speak to Ben Foster about England. If he is to be a candidate for England, it will be a job for the England manager, when he is appointed, to speak to him. It is not my job as a club manager to try and influence Ben one way or another.

"He made his mind up not to combine club and international football and he told the FA that was his decision. All decisions can be altered and I would like to think he is playing well enough so that, when an international manager is appointed, maybe he will speak to Ben and ask him to reconsider."

Hodgson has hinted he may give his fringe players an opportunity during the latter part of the season but only when the threat of relegation is completely eradicated.

He said: "We rested a couple last week at Wigan who might be a bit tired or jaded but, at the moment, the most important thing will be to get to a situation where we are 100% certain of being safe.

"We want to get to a situation where, even if we have a disastrous spell or some teams play above what they've been doing, it still won't affect us in terms of being in the league next season. When that day comes, there are a few players who have been very patient and had to wait for their chance who need to get a game."

Source: PA