Sunday 20 January 2019

Moore hails Baggies' spirit

West Brom 1 Swansea City 1

Darren Moore hailed the Baggies' spirit
Darren Moore hailed the Baggies' spirit

Rory Dollard

Darren Moore praised West Brom for "stopping the rot" against Swansea but the club's turbulent season still looks certain to end in relegation.

Moore became the fourth man to take charge of the Baggies this term and, although he fell 15 minutes short of delivering a feelgood victory at the Hawthorns, there was a tangible sense of equilibrium returning.

A first win since January was briefly on the cards when Jay Rodriguez latched on to Salomon Rondon's flicked header but the visitors snatched a point courtesy of Tammy Abraham's first league goal in six months.

After eight successive Premier League losses under Alan Pardew, a run which effectively extinguished hope of surviving, that still represented reason for cheer.

"We've stopped the rot of losing eight consecutive games and I'm delighted," said Moore. "My message to everyone at West Brom is well done and let's hope this is a platform to build something on.

"This has been a positive step in the right direction and the most important thing is how we responded to the equaliser, we finished strong.

"I was proud to stand out there in the technical area and represent this club as manager, really delighted. The players were excellent, the fans were excellent and everyone came together for this game."

The chances of Moore, or the club's followers, getting carried away are slim though - they sit 10 points behind 17th placed Crystal Palace. With Manchester United and Liverpool their next two opponents, the odds are stacking up against them.

The picture is only slightly rosier for Swansea. Defeat would have left them within three points of the bottom three and there was a baffling lack of ambition in their play until Rodriguez's 10th goal of the season stung them into action.

That they left with a share of the spoils was down to Abraham, who last scored at this level against Huddersfield in October. He was far from electric here and the England caps he earned from Gareth Southgate in November increasingly look like a long-term show of faith rather than an accurate reflection of his level.

But when he sniffed his chance, a hanging corner from Sam Clucas, the Chelsea loanee toyed with Jake Livermore to leave himself a clear view of goal.

"The boy has a lot of a talent, he is doing very well," said Swans boss Carlos Carvalhal of the 20-year-old. "But a player at the age he is in the Premier League. . . it is not easy to play all the time - and play 90 minutes.

"I must talk about the time we have worked with him and he has progressed very well. The expectations for next season are that he can progress and he can score. He is a very good talent."

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