West Bromwich 0 Sheffield United 0: Draw may not spare Robson role upstairs
Wednesday 13 February 2008
At least Bryan Robson has a point earned away to the promotion favourites to take into today's "showdown" meeting with the Sheffield United chairman, Kevin McCabe. However, speculation was rife last night that the manager is to be shunted upstairs with a first-team coach brought in to take charge on a day-to-day basis.
Whoever that may or may not be, could do far worse than use the same team-talk that inspired the Blades to cut a chunk out of West Brom's Premier League ambitions. Tony Mowbray's men are now fourth, outside the top two for the first time in three months and beginning not to look such certainties. They have won just one of their last five League games and the knack of converting the many chances they create has seemingly gone AWOL.
How this game remained goalless was a combined feat of good goalkeeping, Lady Luck and awful finishing. David Cotterill was the first to spurn an opportunity for the visitors in the third minute when running on to a rebound caused by Chris Morgan's shot only to miskick his effort.
Within two minutes, the post up the other end had kept out Filipe Teixeira's header, while an unmarked Martin Albrechtsen headed Teixeira's corner over the bar. On it continued, with Teixeira's crosses a constant threat, although it was the Championship strugglers who forced the best chance. Lee Martin's corner was perfectly swung into the far post where all that was required from Matthew Kilgallon was to nudge the ball past Dean Kiely, he failed to do that.
Stephen Quinn kept out Albrechtsen's half-volley on the hour and even Kevin Phillips got in on the comedy act when skying a header into the stands off another Teixeira cross.
Try as they did, West Brom could not find a path through, allowing Robson to leave his old patch unbeaten. Unbowed, though, may soon prove to be entirely the wrong adjective. "I'm not interested in talking about what happens in the meeting," responded Robson to the press box rumours. He thanked the away fans who got behind his side last night. But the jeers of Saturday still ring loudest at Bramall Lane.
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Kiely; Hoefkens, Barnett, Albrechtsen, Robinson; Morrison, Teixeira, Greening, Brunt; Miller (Beattie, 71), Phillips. Substitutes not used: Danek (gk), Tiniho, Pele, Martis.
Sheffield United (4-4-2): Kenny; Geary, Kilgallon, Morgan, Naysmith; Cotterill, Speed (Armstrong, 38), Quinn, Martin; Beattie (Hulse, 86), Shelton (Gillespie, 77). Substitutes not used: Lucketti, Sharp, Hulse.
Referee: L Probert (Gloucestershire).
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