Etihad Stadium

Next Game

Man City v West Brom

Monday, 21 April 2014, 20:00

Barclays Prem

The Hawthorns

Last Game

West Brom 3 - 3 Tottenham

Saturday, 12 April 2014, 15:07

Barclays Prem

Downing praises perseverance

West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing hailed the perseverance of his players after coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Hull City on Saturday.

Last Updated: 22/12/13 at 08:59 Post Comment

Keith Downing: Impressed with the response to Steve Clarke's sacking

Keith Downing: Impressed with the response to Steve Clarke's sacking

The visitors were in the ascendancy throughout the first period and broke the deadlock on the half-hour mark when Jake Livermore completed a classic piece of counter-attacking play.

West Brom refused to lie down however and constantly tested an organised Hull defence, which at times appeared impenetrable.

But, in the dying stages, Matej Vydra found himself in space inside the Hull box before turning and firing home his first top-flight goal as the Baggies snatched a point.

"I thoroughly enjoyed it, not the start we wanted going a goal down but I enjoyed the day," Downing, who is filling in following the sacking of Steve Clarke, told Sky Sports.

"At the end of day, a point is a point, we would have liked to have won at home but after four straight defeats we feel this is an improvement."

After a run of four straight defeats, Downing made four changes to the West Brom starting XI but admits hindsight is a wonderful thing after reverting to a familiar formation and reaping the rewards.

Saido Berahino was brought on at half-time and West Brom suddenly discovered the creativity they lacked in the first period and Downing was happy with the way his players reacted.

Shape

"We had a little look in the week at 4-3-3 and then we changed it back to our original shape and we were probably a little more comfortable with it," he added.

"In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have changed it but that is what management is like, you make those decisions but equally at half-time we changed and got that response out of the players."

The introduction of Vydra midway through the second period proved to be a winning move as the Czech striker come on to score his first Premier League goal and earn a late point.

"Matej [Vydra] has had a strange sort of time here. He has been training regularly but not really been in the team," Downing said.

"I'm pleased for him because he's a regular on the training field and working really hard at his game, he's persevered."

Downing has already ruled himself out of the running to become Clarke's successor after he was fired in the wake of defeat to Cardiff last weekend.

However, the caretaker boss, who was Clarke's assistant, believes the situation provides players on the fringes of the squad an opportunity to prove their worth.

"I have been here for four or five years but with Steve going there are opportunities for the rest of players and the squad to stake a claim for when the new man comes in.

"It was a strange week with Steve going but the players have rallied round and got a point at the end of the week."

The former Cheltenham manager explained the present state at The Hawthorns, saying he has been instructed to work on a day-to-day basis as the board seek a replacement for Clarke.

Important

"I have been told to just carry on game-by-game," he said.

"I am planning as normal until I get told anything else, I want to make clear the players have been fantastic after a sad start to the week."

One of the changes Downing made saw England international goalkeeper Ben Foster recalled to the starting line-up after four months out through injury and the coach was impressed with his performance.

An excellent double save in the second half denied Tom Huddlestone and Ahmed Elmohamady as Hull looked certain to double their advantage.

"It was a really important double save," Downing said.

"I must admit it was a tough choice with Boaz Myhill because he has done so well in recent months but Ben is a top quality keeper.

"He will be looking forward to the summer to see if he can stake a claim [for England's World Cup squad] and this is the start of his rehabilitation."

Related News

Sky Bet

    • Retrieving latest Sky Bet odds

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

Footer 365

Eden Hazard absent from Chelsea training ahead of trip to Atletico Madrid

Eden Hazard missed Chelsea's open training session ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semi-final at Atletico Madrid.

La Liga: Barcelona forward Lionel Messi set to be offered improved deal

Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu insists Lionel Messi will be offered a new contract to keep him at the club.

Transfer news: Dimitar Berbatov wants to stay at Monaco after scoring winner against Nice

Dimitar Berbatov has confirmed he would like to stay at Monaco beyond the end of this season.

Mail Box

'Tactically Inept And Lacking In Belief And Style'

It's fair to say that the 'Moyes Out' brigade is understandably out in force, whilst there are also staunch defences of Mourinho and Arteta. Plus, Liverpool fans can almost taste it.

That's Why We Didn't Want Jose At United

There is plenty of reaction to Mourinho's antics (Isn't that exactly what he wanted?) plus thoughts on Connor Wickham, Fabio Borini, beach balls and Tim Sherwood...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property