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Long: Baggies need big name to replace Roy

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Striker Shane Long today warned Albion they need a "big manager" to replace Roy Hodgson and claimed the outgoing boss has kept high-profile players at The Hawthorns.

Striker Shane Long today warned Albion they need a "big manager" to replace Roy Hodgson and claimed the outgoing boss has kept high-profile players at The Hawthorns.

The Baggies are hunting a successor to Hodgson, who leaves to become England manager after Sunday's Premier League game at home to Arsenal.

And Ireland international Long believes the 64-year-old will be extremely tough to replace.

"For me he's the main reason that the club has kicked on in the last two years," said Long.

"He's one of the people who has made a difference and he has kept players that probably could have moved on.

"Because of the name he is, he's kept them.

"West Brom is a big club with a big fanbase and, so we need a big manager."

Hodgson will take on his England duties on Monday after taking charge of the Baggies for the final time on Sunday.

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And Long believes Hodgson's players owe him a rousing send-off.

"We owe it to the gaffer and to ourselves to finish the season on a high," he said.

"We've worked hard all season to get into the position we are in and we need to keep looking up and pick up points at every opportunity.

"We always knew it was going to be difficult to keep him when the England job came up for grabs and there's no-one more deserving than him to get it.

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"It's a great privilege for him to take his country into the Euros and it's obviously a great loss to us, but I think the fans understand his decision.

"He's been working his whole life to get into this position and I'm sure he'll do very well.

"It's been a pleasure playing under Roy and I'm a better player for it because I've learned a lot of new things.

"He came in and the players were struggling against relegation last year and they eventually finished 11th.

"It's no coincidence that we're in the top ten this year.

"I think he deserves the credit and appreciation of the supporters for the changes he's made at West Brom.

"He's turned us into a stable club in the Premier League that are looking up rather than looking down."

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