West Bromwich Albion manager Roy Hodgson still believes in Fernando Torres as a top-class striker.Hodgson says the Spanish finishers will prove value for money despite not scoring since his 50 million pound move to Chelsea from Liverpool last January.
Hodgson, speaking ahead of his side’s clash with Chelsea on Saturday, admitted that Torres’ current poor form does not come as a surprise to him.
But the former Fulham and Liverpool manager, who managed Torres at Anfield this season, believes the 27-year-old striker will prove a bargain when he rediscovers his confidence.
“(Torres’ current form) doesn’t surprise me because he didn’t have a good time at Liverpool from the start of the season,” Hodgson said.
“He has moved to Chelsea and everybody was hoping it was going to be night and day in terms of how he performed and it’s not.”
“Fernando is working hard, like he did for Liverpool, and it’s not working for him.”
Hodgson is hoping the Spaniard does not hit a vein of form on Saturday as Chelsea look to bounce back from their Champions League exit at the hands of Manchester United.
“Chelsea will get a lot of value from Fernando Torres and I think, even between now and the end of the season, you will see him scoring goals and doing a great job for the team,” he added.
“But I would rather he had scored a few goals before Saturday because it’s sod’s law that his first goal will come against me.”
The 63-year-old, meanwhile, has praised his home fans for their raucous support in recent weeks and called on them to continue making the Hawthorns a difficult place for visiting teams.
“We have great respect for Chelsea and know to beat them is going to be a massive task,” he said.
“With that type of support behind us, we might be able to pull off another surprise result.”
Cameroon midfielder Somen Tchoyi is expected to return for West Brom after missing two games to be with his sick wife while Scottish midfielder Graham Dorrans is still missing with an ankle injury, although he is hopeful of returning before the end of the season.