Scimeca puts faith in the unexpected to save West Brom

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The Independent Online

Riccardo Scimeca believes West Bromwich Albion can take heart from the recent unexpected results of Norwich City and Crystal Palace in their battle for Premiership survival as they prepare for two demanding games against Arsenal and Manchester United.

Riccardo Scimeca believes West Bromwich Albion can take heart from the recent unexpected results of Norwich City and Crystal Palace in their battle for Premiership survival as they prepare for two demanding games against Arsenal and Manchester United.

Albion have the most difficult run-in of the bottom four sides before they complete the campaign with a home fixture against Portsmouth. Brett Emerton's second-half equaliser for Blackburn at The Hawthorns on Tuesday evening cost Bryan Robson's men two precious points.

But Scimeca cites Norwich's recent surprise win over Manchester United and Palace's unexpected weekend triumph over Liverpool as evidence that the Baggies may not be chasing a lost cause. "We are still in the mix," Scimeca said. "Three of us are all on 30 points now. Obviously, we are disappointed not to get the win - but we have just got to keep going. Three months ago if you had said, 'Would you be happy with this position?' we would have said, 'Of course we'll be happy'.

"We've got two massive games coming up against Arsenal on Monday and then against Manchester United. But Norwich and Palace have proved what can be done in recent matches, so why can't we?"

Scimeca, who was relegated with Leicester City last season, said: "There is a twist and turn with every match. We are still playing some good stuff. We've just got to keep going and we can take heart from getting a point at Arsenal.

"It is very important about how we go about that game. We have to make sure we are not fazed. We went to Highbury with a plan and a system and it is going to be important again for us. We know that Southampton have to play Norwich and Palace, but it is in our hands now. You still look at the other results but we can only concentrate on what we are doing.

"There are so many ups and downs in terms of results so I don't think anyone is going to predict what is going to happen. But we need to push on again.

"We've got a good team spirit, everyone in the camp is very close and we are going to need that over these last three games."

The Blackburn midfielder Steven Reid has hit out at the criticism heaped upon Mark Hughes' side for their style of play, most notably from Arsène Wenger after Arsenal's FA Cup semi-final triumph.

"We have been getting a lot of criticism but when we get the ball down and play, we are not a bad side," Reid said.

"Some of the criticism has been a bit harsh. When you are playing the big clubs, they don't like it when we put our foot in. But you've got to. If you sit back and let them play, they will destroy you."

Reid also said Blackburn would not let the season fizzle out, despite having guaranteed their safety. "We are looking at climbing a few places and finishing in the top half," he said.

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