Megson refuses to allow Koumas to rest on his laurels

Nottingham Forest 0 West Bromwich Albion 3
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The Independent Football

Jason Koumas came in at half-time, having just scored one outrageously good goal and set up another, and the West Bromwich Albion midfielder was promptly told by his manager he was not happy.

Gary Megson does not want his midfielder to rest on his laurels, explaining: "Jason has had a tendency in the past to let his standards slip a little bit. At half-time I said to him it would be perfectly acceptable [to ease off] because he would still get the headlines because of his goal and the way he played. It was important he played 90 minutes not just 45 and he certainly did that."

Koumas' performance lingered in the memory, and not just because he capped a great day for himself and the First Division leaders by scoring his second goal of the afternoon by waltzing through a porous Nottingham Forest defence. It was the way he drifted past his opponents, running in from the left, ready to use his sumptuous right foot, which was how he scored his first goal from all of 25 yards. West Brom's second was more fortuitous, with a Koumas free-kick hitting the Forest full-back Matthieu Louis-Jean on the knee.

But Megson's demands are not lost on Koumas, for the 24-year-old Welsh international is just as hard on himself. He said: "I'm playing well. I aim to do better. I keep working hard. I want to score more goals, create more chances. I want to get better, to get to the top of my game, which hopefully I will get to soon."

Koumas' contract situation is the fly in the ointment. Although he only joined West Brom in August last year, from Tranmere for £2.25m, on a four-year contract, the Baggies have already offered him a new deal but he is stalling.

Megson said: "Koumas won't be going anywhere in the transfer window, regardless of any bid we receive."

Goals: Koumas (40) 0-1; Louis-Jean (43) 0-2; Koumas (90) 0-3.

Nottingham Forest (4-4-2): Ward; Louis-Jean, Walker, Thompson (Morgan, h/t), Robertson; Williams, Bopp, Gunnarsson (King, 65), Jess; Reid, Taylor. Substitutes not used: Roche (gk), Sonner, Gardner

West Bromwich Albion (3-5-2): Hoult; Gregan, Gilchrist, Gaardsoe; Robinson, Koumas (Moore, 90), O'Connor, Johnson, Haas (J Chambers, 85); Dichio, Hulse. Substitutes not used: Murphy (gk), N'Dour, Clement.

Bookings: Nottm For: Robertson, Walker, Taylor. WBA: Haas.

Attendance: 27,331.

Referee: P Taylor (Herts).

Man of the Match: Koumas.