Desperate West Bromwich look to Carew for salvation
Reading 1 West Bromwich Albion 0
Monday 10 January 2011
Memories of the early season victories over Arsenal and Manchester City, with which West Bromwich Albion greeted their return to the Premier League, are fading fast. After going out of the FA Cup to Reading for the third time in the last six years, Roberto Di Matteo's team face a struggle for top-flight survival in the last four months of the campaign.
Albion have lost 11 of their past 14 matches in all competitions – including the last five in a row in the league – and the manner of their performance here suggested confidence may be ebbing away. For all their territorial domination as they pressed for an equaliser in the second half, Albion looked short on ideas and inspiration.
Eddie Newton, the assistant manager, confirmed after Saturday's match that Albion are still keen to sign John Carew, the Aston Villa striker. "We're interested in him, there's no doubt about that," Newton said. "It's important to get new faces in, but it's also important to get the right people in."
If Albion gave Shane Long too much space for the winning strike here, the striker scoring his seventh goal in the last six games after racing on to Noel Hunt's flicked header, credit also had to go to Reading's in-form marksman, who is said to be a transfer target for West Ham United. Long, who beat Boaz Myhill with a cool finish, was a threat throughout, as were Hunt and the Royals' two speedy wide men, Jimmy Kebe and Jobi McAnuff.
Reading (4-4-2) Federici; Cummings, M Mills, Pearce, Harte; Kebe, Karacan, Leigertwood, McAnuff; Hunt (Robson-Kanu, 86), Long (Church, 75). Substitutes not used McCarthy (gk), Tabb, Ingimarsson, Antonio, Howard.
West Bromwich Albion (4-3-1-2) Myhill; Hurst, Zuiverloon, Scharner (Olsson, h/t), Cech; Barnes (Thomas, 63), Jara, Dorrans; Brunt; Miller (Bednar, 52), Morrison. Substitutes not used Carson (gk), Cox, Shorey, Fortune.
Booked Dorrans. Sent off Olsson (60).
Possession Reading 52% West Brom 48%. Shots on target Reading 5 West Brom 1.
Man of the match Mills. Match rating 6/10.
Referee J Moss (W Yorkshire).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Aston Villa preview: I need to prove myself again at Villa, says Scott Sinclair
Transfer news and rumours LIVE: Juan Cuadrado to Chelsea, Cristiano Ronaldo to Manchester City, United want Gareth Bale
Chelsea vs Manchester City player ratings: David Silva saves the day but which City star stole the show at Stamford Bridge?
Arsene Wenger photobombs Arsenal photo shoot - manages to look like famous 'Bigfoot' picture
Kim Sears 'swearing' outburst threatens to overshadow Andy Murray's Australian Open semi-final win
- 1 Three-year-old boy shoots pregnant mother and father in New Mexico
- 2 Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
- 4 Gorillaz Phase 4: Cartoon supergroup is back as new artwork is unveiled
Stephen Fry explains what he would say if he was 'confronted by God'
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
President Putin is a dangerous psychopath - reason is not going to work with him
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign