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Monday 23 April 2018

Darren Fletcher: West Brom motivated by last year's Villa Park memories

Aston Villa fans invaded the pitch following the FA Cup tie last season
Aston Villa fans invaded the pitch following the FA Cup tie last season

Darren Fletcher insists West Brom are on a revenge mission ahead of a return to Aston Villa for the first time since their controversial FA Cup clash.

Albion lost 2-0 in the FA Cup sixth round in March which sparked a pitch invasion from Villa fans while chairs were thrown on to home supporters from the away section.

But Baggies boss Tony Pulis questioned the level of stewarding at the time, fearing for his players' safety, and Villa, who apologised for the invasion, were fined £200,000 by the Football Association.

It came just four days after West Brom had lost 2-1 in the Barclays Premier League at Villa Park and Fletcher, who was cup-tied for the clash, wants the Baggies to exorcise their Villa Park demons.

"It was a difficult week and things happened that shouldn't happen on football pitches," he said.

"We've got to use that to motivate us to help us get the result.

"I'm looking forward to it. I experienced it last year and was disappointed to lose a goal in the last minute.

"Then there was the cup game which I wasn't involved in.

"The passion and the atmosphere was fantastic and it's up to us to go and meet that challenge and give our fans something to shout about."

Albion have kept three straight clean sheets but have scored just three league goals this season.

Fletcher admitted they need to improve in attack.

"We need to work on the balance between not conceding but also being a threat," he said.

"W e have gone from losing the goals against Chelsea and Manchester City to not conceding and we're now looking like less of a threat going forward."

Press Association

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