West Brom start search for new boss

West Brom are already searching for Roy Hodgson’s successor even though England’s new head coach will remain in charge for the final two games of the domestic season.

Former Charlton and West Brom boss Alan Curbishley has emerged as an early favourite with the bookmakers to replace Hodgson who has signed a four-year contract with the Football Association.

Current Birmingham boss Chris Hughton is also believed to be a leading candidate although club chairman Jeremy Peace admits Hodgson will be “a tough act to follow” after a successful 15-month spell.

Peace said: “The board will now concentrate on the important task of appointing a new head coach to continue our project as we prepare for a third successive season in the Barclays Premier League.

“We did not want Roy to leave and he will be a tough act to follow.

“Roy’s appointment as England manager is obviously disappointing news for the club as we would have liked him to sign a new contract, which was in the process of negotiation, and remain here.

“But we understand Roy’s desire to take the England job and I want to reassure our supporters that we will do everything possible to identify and appoint the right head coach for this football club.”

Hodgson will be in the dug-out for Sunday’s game at relegation-threatened Bolton and the home encounter with Arsenal on May 13.

Peace said: “Of course, with Euro 2012 around the corner, we appreciate that some of Roy’s focus over the next 12 days will be on England matters, but we are delighted he will be seeing the season out with us.

“With the help of the coaching staff, he will prepare the team in his usual, meticulous manner as we finish what has already been a successful season.”

Peace was full of praise for the way the FA went about approaching him to speak to Hodgson.

He said: “I would like to thank the FA chairman, David Bernstein, for the sensitive and professional manner in which he has liaised with me in bringing about Roy’s appointment.

“Everyone here would like to wish Roy, the FA and England all the best for Euro 2012 and beyond.”

Hodgson took charge at West Brom in February 2011 and helped them avoid relegation with just two defeats in the final 12 games of the season.

The Baggies are on course for a top-10 finish this season despite losing the opening three games.

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