Our final Premier League game tomorrow won’t be a routine end-of-season affair at the Hawthorns.
Arsenal are coming here looking for a Champions League place while, for us, it will be Roy Hodgson’s last game in charge.
I expect it’s going to be an emotional farewell, with the fans taking the opportunity to thank him for all he has done for the club, something the players would readily endorse. And he, in turn, thanked us all this week, saying that we had played a big part in helping him get the England job because, at West Brom, he built his reputation back up after taking a dent in his time at Liverpool. Much as we’re sorry to see him go, we’re delighted for him and we’ll want to give him the right kind of send-off tomorrow. By all accounts, Chris Hughton would appear to be the favourite to succeed Roy, after an impressive few years in management. He steadied the ship at Birmingham, just as he did at Newcastle, and got them into the play-offs, even if they didn’t quite make it up this time.
Despite the Irish connection, I don’t know him personally, but he’s highly regarded and I’d have a lot of respect for him. He speaks well, always carries himself with dignity — even in defeat after the two legs against Blackpool — and you can tell he’s very knowledgeable about the game.
Once tomorrow is out of the way, next week for me will be all about getting away for a few days, having a rest and recharging the batteries. And then, tomorrow week, I’ll be back home in Dublin to join up with the Irish squad and begin our preparations for the Euros.
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