Howard backs 'devastated' Logan to get over his gaffe

Leicester striker blames goalkeeper's error which turned Carling Cup tie on 'wet ball'
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The Independent Football

Leicester captain Steve Howard has backed goalkeeper Conrad Logan after his howler helped West Bromwich Albion on their way to a 4-1 Carling Cup triumph at the Walkers Stadium on Tuesday night.

Logan, who otherwise produced an impressive display, inexplicably dropped Gianni Zuiverloon's hopeful long ball at the feet of the Albion midfielder Somen Tchoyi, who duly stroked the ball home from 10 yards.

The 62nd-minute goal proved the turning point, coming with the tie finely balanced at 1-1 and opportunities being created at both ends.

But veteran striker Howard, captain for the evening in the absence of the injured Matt Oakley, knows such mistakes happen in football – as Manchester United's Edwin van der Sar proved when he gifted a present to Tchoyi at Old Trafford 11 days ago.

"It's just one of those things," Howard said. "Poor Conrad, he's absolutely devastated but it's just one of those things that happen. It was a wet night, the ball was slippy. He's made some cracking saves as well, but he's dropped one and you just get on with it. You just feel for him."

Howard added: "I thought we did quite well in the game, we played some good stuff. I don't think it should have been 4-1. We're gutted.

"I don't particularly think there was a big gulf, they're all good players and I thought we passed the ball around just as good as them and at stages of the game we controlled it, but obviously we didn't put the ball in the back in the net."

The Foxes' midfielder Paul Gallagher was a constant threat for the hosts and provided the teasing 53rd-minute cross which Albion left-back Nicky Shorey put into his own net to make it 1-1.

Gallagher also offered support to Logan, adding: "It was a bit of an error by Conrad, everyone makes errors, but I think that changed the game and we were chasing it, leaving ourselves wide open and they're a Premier League team. They showed that on the counter-attack and scored two good goals."

Baggies striker Simon Cox put the visitors in front midway through the first half with a well-taken finish.

And after the drama in the first 17 minutes of the second half, it was left for Steven Reid to head a third from Giles Barnes' corner before Cox fired home a delightful fourth from distance late on. It proved an enjoyable evening for the striker, who, having scored the winner against Manchester City in the previous round, took his tally for the season to three.

West Bromwich's Ishmael Miller made his long-awaited return from a thigh injury with his first appearance since the opening day as an 85th-minute substitute. He was denied a comeback goal by Logan in injury time, although he could soon find himself lining up for the Foxes as their new manager Sven Goran Eriksson attempts to negotiate a loan deal.

The Albion assistant manager, Eddie Newton, said: "It was good for Ishmael to get on the pitch again, he needs to get his confidence back playing at this level and he almost got a goal as well.

"[His potential loan move] is something we'll maybe sit down and discuss in the future, but for now nothing's been decided." When asked if he planned to speak to the Baggies' manager, Roberto Di Matteo, about Miller, Eriksson added: "I'm waiting for him to come in, yes we'll see."