Norwich City have Indian sign over West Brom, says Roy Hodgson
Roy Hodgson conceded that Norwich City appear to have the 'Indian sign' over his side after completing a quickfire Premier League and FA Cup double on Albion's home turf.
The West Brom chief again felt the hosts had held the upper hand for large spells, but Hodgson was forced to swallow a second consecutive reverse at the Hawthorns following City's recent success in the Premier League.
'Certainly, Norwich have had the Indian sign on us, because they've gone away from here with 2-1 victories when, over the 90 minutes, we've been slightly the better team,' said Hodgson. 'It's sad to lose because I don't think our performance warranted a defeat.
'We asked them lots of questions throughout the second half. If you reflect on the footballing activity in this match, it was far more in their penalty area than in ours, but this game isn't about how many times you get in the opposing team's penalty area. It's about how many goals you score.
'They scored two and we scored one so you end up losing. Of course, we feel a little hard done by in that respect, but we've got to do more, we've got to make more of the opportunities we do create.
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'Against teams that are going to put a lot of players behind the ball and defend in numbers, you're not going to get one-on-ones with their goalkeeper, and that type of clear opportunity - you're going to get opportunities to do something when the ball is bouncing around in the opposition's penalty area.'
Hodgson refused to blame Craig Dawson for the club's FA Cup exit after Simeon Jackson pounced on indecision from the Albion centre back to lash past Ben Foster for the decisive late goal.
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'It was a great pity for the game to end that way and, of course, a great pity for the player involved, because young Craig is making his way in the game,' he said. 'It was really unfortunate for him because he didn't play at all badly in the game. He's had a few games recently where he's been deputising for either Jonas (Olsson) or Gareth McAuley and has conducted himself well.
'He concentrates well but, today, it was one of those glaring errors which no coach or manager can say too much about.
'We also can't say too much to him that will ease the pain because he realises it was that mistake which cost us at least a replay. Craig's a very serious footballer and he'll be devastated by his mistake.
'Me telling him not to worry is a nice thing to say but it doesn't help a great deal. There's nothing that anybody can say or do other than make it clear to him that he has our sympathy, that we're not blaming him, and that these things do happen in football.'
Hodgson reiterated Premier League survival remains the sole target but the Baggies' boss revealed impressive midfielder Jerome Thomas (ankle) and full-back Gonzalo Jara Reyes picked up fresh injuries ahead of this week's vital trip to Fulham.
'Gonzalo has got an adductor muscle issue, so that's another one we'll need looking into,' he said. 'Yet again, it was one of those days where nothing went right.
'We lost the game and got a couple of injuries. You're trying to protect people and keep them fit for the coming matches and you end up losing a couple of players. I suppose that would be down to sod's law.
'We've failed today in a subsidiary target - to have an FA Cup run - but we now have to make sure we don't fail in our major target of ensuring West Bromwich Albion is a Premier League team next season. That has always been, and always will be, our major aim.
'We all take the cup seriously here and we try to do our very best in it, but we know where our priorities lie and there's no doubt that if this had been a league game today, seven of the players who didn't play would've played.'