Sport Soccer

Thursday 16 August 2018

Moore refusing to dwell on the past as West Brom keep alive survival hopes

Matt Phillips’ strike hands the Baggies victory at Newcastle.

Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – St James’ Park
Newcastle United v West Bromwich Albion – Premier League – St James’ Park

By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport

Caretaker boss Darren Moore is refusing to reflect on what might have been after guiding West Brom to another Premier League victory.

Saturday’s 1-0 win at Newcastle extended Moore’s unbeaten record to four games since he replaced Alan Pardew, and his points tally to eight, the same number as his predecessor managed in his 18 matches at the helm.

However, asked if there was a frustration that he had not been handed the reins earlier, he said: “No, no frustration at all.

“The club has asked me to step in and fulfil a role, and all I’m echoing is just what’s going on at the football club: we are all working, we are just working hard and we look to the next game, and that’s all it really is.

“It’s no different. We can’t cry over spilled milk. What’s gone on has gone on and there’s nothing we can do about what’s gone on.

“We just look to the next game, and this was a difficult game and we have had to work extremely hard to get a positive result. I am pleased and proud for the football club that we have got a positive result.

“What’s gone on, we can wonder, we can [talk about] ifs and buts – we ain’t gong to change what’s gone on at the start of the season.”

Victory at St James’ Park was secured by Matt Phillips’ first-half strike on an afternoon when the Magpies were too far below par to get the better of a relegation-haunted side scrapping for its Premier League life.

Keeper Ben Foster had to pull off a stunning save to deny Dwight Gayle an equaliser seconds before the break, but was otherwise largely untroubled.

Moore said: “We have just come together as a football club. It’s been another positive week of training, a positive week of hard work and a positive performance and a good result.

“We enjoyed today, but again there’s lots of hard work ahead with the next game coming up.”

Magpies boss Rafael Benitez admitted his team had not been at the races after effectively ending their relegation fears a fortnight ago.

Asked if his team had lacked the motivation of recent weeks, he said: “I will not say motivation because we were running and we were working hard, but we were doing it in the wrong way.

“We were in the wrong positions, going late and when we were on the ball, we were giving the ball away. It’s not that we were not trying, I think we were trying in the wrong way.”

There could be further disappointment for Benitez with loan signing Islam Slimani appearing to flick out a boot at defender Craig Dawson in an incident which was not spotted by the referee.

The Spaniard said: “Someone told me, but during the game, I couldn’t see anything, so we will see.”

Press Association

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