Hodgson hails Long's performance
Roy Hodgson hailed the performance of West Brom striker Shane Long after his headed winner in a 2-1 success over Bolton at the Hawthorns.
Albion had feared Long would be out for up to eight weeks with a knee injury but he returned after only a month to turn home Nicky Shorey's second half cross. It enabled him to put behind the frustration of missing out on the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2012 play-off win over Estonia.
Hodgson said: "It was an easy decision when Shane was declared fit because he is a good player and when he doesn't play, we miss him. He adds a dimension to the way we play. When we win the ball back and get it forward, things build up from him."
He added: "Today they also built up from Zoltan Gera and I had two of them up there doing a magnificent job in that respect.
"We've missed that the last couple of weeks and those two can take a good deal of the credit for a very good West Brom performance."
Hodgson added: "Long was only touch and go in the sense that doctors advise caution and players and coaches are more adventurous. In Long I have the most adventurous of the adventurers. He is Tintin plus!
"Basically speaking, he wanted to play and the doctors made no attempt to stop him playing."
Long's winner helped Hodgson to get over the frustration of what he perceived to be a harsh penalty awarded against Jerome Thomas for a foul on Fabrice Muamba. Ivan Klasnic converted the spot-kick to cancel out Thomas' opening goal.
Hodgson said: "I gave myself a team talk, which was also invaluable to the players, to put injustice behind you and don't dwell on the fact it looks like you have been dealt a bad card again.
"I was furious about the penalty like I was for the one against Liverpool awarded against us. In my 45 years as a player and coach, they are not penalties and I will continue to think that. But I wanted us to put that all behind us and to make certain we concentrated on our football. That was a good message for me and the players."
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