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Terry’s Baggies Blog



Terry Wills looks back on a useful three points and forward to renewing acquaintances with an old friend.

They're back on track even though the rails were buckled!

Following the (impossible to forget) shambolic display against Reading that summarily dumped Albion out of the FA Cup, it's fair to say Baggies fans weren't feeling over confident that a tricky home game against Derby County would see them notch a badly needed three-point haul to keep them jostling for an automatic promotion spot.

But not only did Albion see off County, as a massive bonus Leicester City avenged their humiliating 5-1 defeat against near-neighbours Nottingham Forest with a 3-0 win. Thank you, Nigel Pearson.

Roberto Di Matteo’s team selection confirmed what every supporter already knew. Joe Mattock and Gianni Zuiverloon had to be left out. They were and while in the early stages the Baggies enjoyed the bulk of the play you could sense the crowd's apprehension whenever County, with some crisp passing and fluent running, bore down on a still far from looking confident defence that at times appeared to be at odds with itself.

Both teams had penalty appeals turned down but it was County taking the lead in first-half added on time when again dithering, confusion, call it what you will, between Scott Carson and Jonas Olsson allowed Chris Porter to nudge the ball home. Not a good half despite the returning Jerome Thomas frequently worrying Derby's defence only to let them off the hook by running into trouble and losing the ball when in promising situations.

Not too much significant improvement in the second-half until the enigmatic Chris Brunt took centre stage. Sixty-seven minutes, Simon Cox who'd come on a substitute played the ball through, 'Bruntie' latched on to it, appeared to be hesitating, but mercifully his second touch saw the ball lying in the back of the net for an equaliser.

Right now let's get on and win the game! Eleven minutes later and it was that man again as Chris gave the Baggies a 2-1 lead following a goalmouth scramble. Now well on top, and with James Morrison on as a substitute, Albion began to dominate. It was 'Mozza' ,chipping a pass forward, that led to Simon Cox wheeling away in delight as his shot clinched the points that in truth, for a long time, had seemed highly unlikely.

It hadn't been a sparkling display, but as any game is determined solely on the result and not the performance, all that mattered was that we’d grabbed the three points to take us back into an automatic promotion position.

New loan signing Ben Watson did what was expected of him and looks to be a solid acquisition. Scott Carson also played well although he and Jonas Olsson weren't best pleased when they appeared to blame each other for the Derby goal.

This leading to Olsson showing his 'displeasure' towards supporters in the Brummie Road End as they were expressing their feelings with a torrent of abuse. Anything you can do, I can do better' is a well known song from Annie Get Your Gun and to prove it Jonas replied in kind!

Again Graham Dorrans’ vision and passing ability posed problems. Youssouf Mulumbu, surprisingly missing from the starting line up, bossed the midfield when coming on to replace Ben Watson. Chris Brunt wasn't at his best but who was complaining as he scored twice?

Off the pace? Again it was Luke Moore failing to win over supporters hopes but as 'Tiny' Miller and Roman Bednar are missing due to injuries Di Matteo's options are severely limited.

This week it's back to the ground where Albion won the Championship under the leadership of Tony Mowbray, Loftus Road. Queens Park Rangers aren't playing well but annoyingly they've just appointed another new manager in the shape of Neil Warnock, a character who possesses a habit of turning around a club’s fortunes and will never be forgotten following that notorious Bramall Lane fiasco when Sheffield United were reduced to seven men. The match was abandoned with Albion leading 3-0 and we were eventually awarded the game as the score was allowed to stand.

What a day THAT was!

It will be hard and, with Warnock in charge, will no doubt see a renewal of a new round of controversies and arguments for whatever reason Mr Warnock decides is best appropriate. Let's see Albion giving him plenty to moan about when the referee blows his whistle to end the game.

"Come on you Baggies"



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