Megson stays focused as vultures start to descend

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The Independent Online

Gary Megson, the West Bromwich Albion manager, admits he feels under extra pressure ahead of Saturday's home game against Bolton amid further speculation that he faces the sack if the Baggies are beaten.

Gary Megson, the West Bromwich Albion manager, admits he feels under extra pressure ahead of Saturday's home game against Bolton amid further speculation that he faces the sack if the Baggies are beaten.

Megson has performed wonders in his four and a half years at The Hawthorns, taking Albion from the brink of relegation to the old Second Division to a second season in the top flight.

But there have been reports that the club chairman, Jeremy Peace, is set to remove Megson unless results improve, with West Brom still without a win in seven League matches.

Megson said: "Is there extra pressure on me? Yes, of course there is. I can read and I can hear what is being said and what is going on. With that, there is bound to be a little bit more pressure. But the pressure we are talking about is for me to handle and for me to cope with.

"Does that anger me? Not particularly. It is part of the job. It goes with the job. Whether it is right or wrong, it is there. You have to deal with that.

"From my own point of view, you have a pressure wherever you are managing to win games and we are not doing that at the moment," Megson added.

"We've got to do that as quickly as we can but that pressure is normal. You have to deal with it, handle it, cope with it.

"Am I fearing the worst? That's not for me to say. I've been in charge for over 200 games at West Brom. The pressure has been there for every manager of West Brom and been there for those 200 games. That is the nature of the job. I can't do anything about it."

Megson admitted that it is difficult for his players when there is so much uncertainty regarding the future. He said: "The hard thing is for the players to be able to win in this atmosphere - but that's what they've got to try to achieve.

"All the players can do is get on with their job. That's all they can do. They must go out there and they must perform.

"I've been here four and a half years and only once or twice - and it was a while back - has the effort and work-rate put in not been high enough."

If this weekend proves to be his swan song, then Megson believes he can point to having improved the fortunes of Albion in many departments.

He said: "I'd like to think everything is better now. Most of the supporters would recognise that when I came here the club was battling to stay in the old Second Division and now we are battling to get results in the Premiership.

"They know the stadium, the training ground and the squad have changed and improved since I've been manager here. If you can say that as a manager, you've done a decent job. I would like it to go on and get better and better."

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