Problems Mount For Pardew With 12 Big Games Left
Head coach Alan Pardew has admitted that West Bromwich Albion's defeat to Southampton at the weekend was problematic from his point of view.
Hosting the side at The Hawthorns for the game, West Brom had the perfect start to the game with Ahmed Hegazi heading home in the fourth minute, but two quick fire goals at the end of the first half from the visitors gave them the advantage going into the second half and with a third ten minutes after the restart, Salomon Rondon's 72nd minute goal gave us hope but that wasn't capitalised on.
Speaking to wba.co.uk Pardew explained that with how the first half ended, it had really 'knocked' the side and he felt they were already slightly running on empty following our midweek efforts against Manchester City and he simply didn't have the option of resting too many players given where we sit in the table.
Following the match however we are now four points from safety, but goal difference is in our favour.
'I thought our options were limited in terms of resting certain players today. I think we covered more distance at Manchester City on Wednesday night than we have in any other game this season. And I think that showed today. Southampton looked a yard quicker than us.'
Pardew went on to say that in many ways for him they way they started to 'dominate' the game in the final 20 minutes of the first half did become incredibly tricky and whilst most probably felt a leveller was coming, he felt it was 'unfortunate' they scored twice as that set us back at the break.
'We huffed and puffed in the second period and pushed the game, but we didn`t really threaten enough. When you`re up against a team that are a little bit fresher they can slow the clock down and manage the game which was frustrating for us.'
Meeting with the media following the tie, Chris Brunt said the players had to take strength from the fact they know how to stay in the division, but obviously we now face a massive final 12 games of the campaign.
'We need to win as many as we can. Southampton, credit to them they played well. It was definitely a six-pointer and they played better on the day than we did. We`ve given ourselves a bit of a mountain to climb now but hopefully we can get a few bodies back this week and get out on the training pitch.'
Brunt pointed out that with the festive fixture list hitting the players, the fact we don't play until next Monday evening could in fact now be a blessing, but with the game seeing tributes to Cyrille Regis he was just sorry the result didn't match.
'The stuff before the game was a nice tribute to Cyrille, who was a great man and an icon for the football club. It`s just unfortunate we couldn't get a result and give him the right send off.'
Brunt's enthusiasm is pleasing to see, but it's Chelsea next.