I Don't See No Fat Lady - Pardew
Alan Pardew has insisted that 'nothing's over until it's over' and he doesn't see the 'Fat Lady' in West Bromwich Albion's dressing room just yet.
West Brom head into what is clearly a 'must win' match this weekend against Huddersfield Town at The Hawthorns, but Pardew had some fighting talk as he met with wba.co.uk and the wider media yesterday for his pre game press conference commitments.
After a bad week for a variety of issues, Pardew is hoping for a fresh start and whilst he wouldn't call Huddersfield a 'must win' himself, he's probably the only person associated with the club who won't admit it's a six pointer but with our luck of late, the second he says that, we'll lose and the pressure will just magnify.
'For us, the word 'must-win' is bit of an irritant. We know how important the game is. Nothing's over until it's over. 'The Fat Lady' isn't in the room yet. Huddersfield are a side I know fairly well because I've watched them two or three times this season. I'm familiar with how they play and what they do. They're not going to make it easy for us, we're not going to be able to roll them over and win comfortably. It'll be a tight, ferocious affair because it's every bit as important to them as it is us.'
A win at the weekend could lift West Brom to within four points of Premier League survival and Pardew's only focus was on closing the gap as quickly as we could now given where we find ourselves in the season.
'We can't afford the gap to be any bigger. The guys around us have had a decent run and have shared the points around. That's probably a worry. We need - for it to work out well for us - four, five or maybe six to fall away a bit. The middle pack are all together and then there's us. We've not been able to cling on. Although some of the performances have been very good since I've been here, we haven't been able to get the points to close that gap.'
Asked whether he believed the group at the club had what it took to drag us out of the hole that's been dug, he answered.
'I'm convinced we've got the quality. We've still got some big players missing and hopefully they'll return; Chadli, Morrison and Sturridge in particular. Gibbs is available this week. The rest of the squad is all available, including Jake Livermore. We still have options but our immediate concern is to put this week behind us and get ourselves a win.'
Key to us getting out of this mess was 'courage' and after the week we've had, that was a massive thing for Pardew as he spoke and whilst the players needed to show courage, he encouraged the fans to show some forgiveness.
'It's about our fans on Saturday coming with forgiveness in their hearts. That's all we can hope for because they don't have to. We're going to need them. The most important thing for us about getting the three points is the psychology. I'm not bothered about the points, we can make them up if I'm honest. It's about the psychology of the group after the week we've had.'
He went on to say.
'We're playing against a team that press the ball, that are very hard working. But we can beat them. And we've got the players to beat them. If we take that belief into this game and get three points then suddenly the outlook won't look so bad. But it really is cheap talk until we get to Saturday night. Hopefully it isn't cheap talk then. I'm hoping the players can show courage, strength, show the fans how much it means to them to put on that West Brom shirt, go out there and win.'