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Jerome Thomas praises his managerial masters

Sport | Published:

Roy Hodgson goes head-to-head with Harry Redknapp tomorrow with winger Jerome Thomas hailing both men as masters of man management.

Roy Hodgson goes head-to-head with Harry Redknapp tomorrow with winger Jerome Thomas hailing both men as masters of man management.

Thomas today paid tribute to Tottenham boss Redknapp, who took him back to the Premier League with Portsmouth and is now fighting for a Champions League spot with Spurs.

But the Baggies wideman reckons Hawthorns chief Hodgson is a match for the White Hart Lane chief after guiding his new club to the brink of Premier League safety.

Redknapp's spectacular success at Spurs has seen him emerge as favourite to be the next England manager — a post for which Hodgson has been considered on at least two occasions.

And Thomas is delighted to see his former boss enjoying life in north London and his current gaffer getting his career back on track in the West Midlands.

"I think most people are happy for Harry and that's why he gets so many plaudits and why his name is being mentioned as the next England manager," said Thomas, whose back injury restricted him to just two first-team appearances in his year at Fratton Park.

"He has done such a great job at Tottenham and he did a great job at Portsmouth. We saw their demise as soon as he left there, which showed how much he was putting in there and he has done a great job at Tottenham as well.

"It was frustrating with my injury because he took me from Charlton back to the Premier League with Portsmouth.

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"And he was always encouraging me, even when I came off the bench or showed glimpses in training or in the reserve games.

"I only played a few before my injury but he was encouraging and he is an honest manager.

"He is a player's manager, which is the kind of management you want."

Thomas has now spent three months working with Hodgson, who has masterminded Albion's climb from the edge of Premier League relegation to the relative safety of mid-table.

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And he believes the similarities in style with Redknapp are clear.

"Harry's just so down to earth," said Thomas. "He's easy to talk to, just as Roy is.

"It's maybe that old-school English mentality. They are just down to earth, easy to talk to and honest.

"I think most of the players are enjoying working with Roy. I haven't heard one complaint since he's been here.

"I've agreed with everything he's said on the training pitch and in his game analysis. He's been great and I think the way we've improved on the pitch has shown that.

"People will look at what happened with Roy at Liverpool but it was hard for him and he didn't get much time.

"There is no doubting his ability as a manager. He's come here and we were unbeaten in six games until Chelsea. You can't ask for much more than that."

Hodgson's first setback as Baggies boss came last week when his unbeaten start at The Hawthorns was ended with a 3-1 home defeat against the champions.

The result did little to harm his side's chance of avoiding relegation with results involving other clubs near the foot of the table going in their favour.

But Thomas still believes Albion must avoid repeating last weekend's mistakes when they take on another of England's Champions League representatives tomorrow. "We weren't as good as we have been and if you look at Chelsea's season they haven't been much different to Arsenal and Liverpool, who we played well against and got something from," he said.

"Going into last week's game we were confident but we made some errors and we weren't as disciplined as we had been in previous games.

"It was hard because we had been on an unbeaten run and it was bound to come to an end eventually.

"The gaffer was happy that, with us being 3-1 down at half time, it didn't finish with them scoring four, five or six. Technically it was a 0-0 second half and that's what he was happy about."

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