Megson tries to rediscover winning ways

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The Independent Football

Gary Megson, the West Bromwich manager, is attempting to find a tactical solution for Albion's current downturn in form.

Knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest on Saturday after Marlon King converted a second-half penalty at the City Ground for a 1-0 win, they are now without a victory in their last six outings and The Hawthorns faithful have not witnessed a League victory on home soil since mid-October.

Meanwhile, Norwich have usurped West Bromwich at the top of the First Division table and now lie five points clear as Megson resorts to tinkering with formations and personnel.

After swapping Albion's usual wing-back strategy for a more traditional 4-4-2 shape at Forest, Megson said: "We've got to find a way which gets us back to playing winning football - so we've tinkered with the side for the first time in probably three-and-a-half years.

"We're not getting results, and our last few performances have been poor by the standards we've set in the past. We've had a look at changing people and we've had a look at changing preparation because we're trying to get things to drop in the right manner."

Meanwhile, Sunderland's goalkeeper Mart Poom is hoping his side can take a leaf out of Sheffield United's book as they attempt to maintain a challenge on two fronts.

The First Division promotion hopefuls launched their FA Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 victory over Hartlepool at the Stadium of Light thanks to Julio Arca's 53rd-minute goal.

Poom is now hoping the Blades' run to two cup semi-finals and the play-off final last year, can serve as a template for his club.

"They had a great cup run and I think it helped," he said. "Okay, they lost in the play-off final, but everybody remembered how well they played in the cup competitions and I think all in all, they had a very good season last season, so hopefully we can do the same."

Hartlepool's manager, Neale Cooper, will hope to carry some momentum into the remainder of the Second Division season. "We've got to learn from that," he said. "We've got a great spirit and work really hard, and if you've got those things and you can add one or two quality players, then who knows what you can achieve?"