West Bromwich Albion chairman Jeremy Peace insists new boss Roy Hodgson was always in pole position to replace Roberto Di Matteo. Hodgson, who was axed by Liverpool last month, has committed himself to the Baggies until the summer of 2012.
Peace said: "At such a vital stage of the season, we felt it was important we identified and appointed the right man as quickly as possible.
"Roy emerged as the outstanding and unanimous choice of the football club board and we are delighted to have appointed our number one target.
"We believe his vast experience and knowledge of the game is exactly what we need for the challenge we face, both in the short and long term."