West Bromwich’s manager, Tony Pulis, has backed Nigerian striker Brown Ideye to continue his form after two goals against West Ham on Saturday helped Albion into the FA Cup sixth round for the first time in seven years.
James Morrison and Saido Berahino also found the net at The Hawthorns, but it was Ideye who earned most of the plaudits. “It’s confidence – that’s all it is,” Pulis said after the striker took his tally to four goals in three matches.
“Confidence is everything. He got that goal last week [at Burnley] and has gone on. We’re delighted. You could not work with a nicer guy. He has been desperate to do well and it is smashing to see him enjoying the fruits of his labours.”
West Ham’s manager, Sam Allardyce, was left to bemoan the club’s schedule, the Hammers having faced Manchester United last Sunday before travelling to Southampton on Wednesday prior to the lunchtime kick-off in the Midlands.
“Fans get disappointed because there’s 6,500 who travelled up here,” he said. “We have built the FA Cup to be one of our big successes this year. When you have travelled all this way and the performance has not been as good they express their disappointment. I defend the players because we couldn’t cope with the injury and fixture list. We’ve only got the league to think about now.”
The Derby manager, Steve McClaren, called on his players to maintain focus on their promotion charge after their surprise 2-1 home Cup defeat to Championship rivals Reading. “There are bigger things ahead and we have got to make sure we focus on [tomorrow’s] game at Rotherham,” the former England coach said.
Steve Clarke, Reading’s manager, praised the impact of substitute Yakubu, who scored the winning goal at the IPro Stadium. “He came on midweek, got a good introduction to the Championship when he took an elbow to the face and broke his nose!” Clarke said. “But we fixed him up and he still looks gorgeous! It’s not a surprise when he scores in that situation.”Reuse content