Saturday 23 November 2019

Pulis hails forwards after Rondon strike seals points

Norwich City0-1 West Brom

Norwich City's Cameron Jerome competes with Claudio Yacob for control of the ball
Norwich City's Cameron Jerome competes with Claudio Yacob for control of the ball
West Brom's Darren Fletcher celebrates after the match
West Brom's Chris Brunt tries to by-pass Alexander Tettey
Norwich City's Nathan Redmond competes for control of the ball against Chris Brunt

Mark Bryans

Tony Pulis saw his West Brom side collect their sixth clean sheet of the season with victory at Norwich, but he was full of praise for his attacking players.

Club-record signing Salomon Rondon scored the only goal of the game at Carrow Road to inflict a third straight defeat on the Canaries. The 1-0 win came with another impressive rearguard display as the visitors soaked up plenty of Norwich pressure in the opening stages, with Rondon heading home less than a minute into the second half to secure the points.

Although he admits goalkeeper Boaz Myhill and the defence deserve credit, Pulis was more impressed with his side going forward, even though the Baggies have only managed eight goals.

"The defenders do a lot of work on the training ground, we work very hard on certain aspects," said the Welshman.

"We talk about it because of the record I have got but we also work hard going forward and today we got our reward.

"I like to play wide players and we had (Stephane) Sessegnon on the right and James McClean was magnificent. I was really pleased. The back four and the goalkeeper are jumping up and down about another clean sheet but I was more pleased with the quality going forward.

"We also thought we should have had a penalty and we had a couple of headers as well. The quality of our play going forward was very, very good at times."

The defeat for Norwich comes after losses to Leicester and Newcastle, who beat Alex Neil's side 6-2 at St James' Park last weekend.

The Canaries boss reacted by dropping his two full-backs for the visit of West Brom but that did not stop his side again emerging with nothing, and it is a run of form that the former Hamilton player-manager has never previously had to deal with in his short managerial career.

"I wouldn't say it is worrying times," he said.

"It is not a nice time, I have never even lost two league games in a row, never mind three.

"Yes, you are concerned, I'm looking at what I can do to put it right. I'm trying to do everything I can and I'm working as hard as I can and it is about making sure when the lads are on the pitch they do as well as they can."

Norwich were on top for much of the opening 20 minutes but could not make their dominance pay, something Neil pointed to in his post-match analysis of the contest.

"The bottom line is, the game for us boils down to two boxes," he said.

"Our box, we didn't defend well enough and in the other box they defended it well.

"That is basically the game - we must have put about 40 crosses into their box and they put about seven into mine and scored a header and should have scored another.

"I thought our intensity dropped a little as the half wore on. To try to maintain that for a full half is difficult but at this level when you have the ball in good areas it is about punishing teams, and we didn't do that and there is always a danger they will threaten.

"In the second half we didn't stop a cross coming into our box and when it did we didn't defend the header and conceded the goal."

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