Wednesday 12 December 2018

Pressure on Pardew as West Brom lose again

Huddersfield take vital three points off the bottom club as West Brom fans vent their fury.

The pressure on Alan Pardew intensified
The pressure on Alan Pardew intensified

By Phil Medlicott, Press Association Sport

Rock-bottom West Brom’s troubles continued as they were beaten 2-1 at home by Premier League relegation rivals Huddersfield, their fifth successive loss in all competitions.

Strikes from Rajiv van La Parra in the 48th minute and Steve Mounie in the 56th put Huddersfield 2-0 up.

Craig Dawson replied with a header in the 64th, but West Brom could not muster anything further as the pressure increased on boss Alan Pardew.

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In a contest where Albion fans made their frustration heard in various ways, there were chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” directed at Pardew towards the end, and loud boos rang around The Hawthorns at the final whistle.

The result leaves the Baggies – who have won just one of 14 league games under Pardew – still seven points adrift of the safety, with 10 matches left to play.

Huddersfield, meanwhile, are up three places to 14th, and are three points clear of the drop zone.

West Brom went into the contest in considerable need of some positivity following the turbulence of last week.

That had seen chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman sacked, and senior players Jonny Evans, Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill embarrass the club during a training camp in Barcelona when they broke a curfew and allegedly stole a taxi.

Albion were then knocked out of the FA Cup via a 2-1 home loss to Southampton, a match for which Evans was stripped of the captaincy as Gareth McAuley skippered the side.

Pardew had confirmed prior to this game that Evans would be reinstated as captain, and once again Barry was the other one of the dubbed “taxi four” included in the starting line-up, while Myhill was joined on the bench by the fit-again Livermore.

West Brom made a reasonably bright start of the match, during which Salomon Rondon fired over from outside the box.

There was then little in an attacking sense from either side until the 36th minute when Huddersfield’s January signing Alex Pritchard struck on-target only for Mounie to get in the way, and Ben Foster parried Van La Parra’s follow-up effort, with Evans dealing with the loose ball.

West Brom were presented with a decent chance just before the interval as James McClean met Matt Phillips’ cross with a volley, but he sent his shot over.

The hosts were then punished for hesitancy at the back three minutes after the break, with Collin Quaner producing a cross from the right and Van La Parra guiding the ball into the corner of the net.

And after Danny Williams flashed a shot just wide of Foster’s goal and Barry saw a firm strike caught by Jonas Lossl, things got even worse for West Brom as Mounie latched on to Pritchard’s pass and lashed in to extend the visitors’ advantage.

That prompted loud boos and cries of “you’re not fit to wear the shirt” from Albion fans, but they were cheering eight minutes later when Dawson headed home substitute Chris Brunt’s corner.

Williams cracked a shot that Foster did well to save, and there were then more boos around the stadium as Barry was replaced by Livermore, before Brunt’s free-kick brought a fine save out of Lossl.

Dawson connected with another Brunt corner late on but cleared the bar with his attempt and moments later the booing returned as the game was brought to an end.

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