West Brom ace Chris Brunt: We must share responsibility with Alan Pardew | Football | Sport


Pardew looks likely to keep his job despite this latest calamity, which leaves the Baggies eight points from safety at the bottom of the Premier League, with just nine games left.

West Brom’s Chinese owners are in no doubt they are now in crisis mode but have not identified any available, suitable candidates who might even consider taking over.

That, along with a more encouraging display here, has thrown Pardew a life raft.

Albion have won only one game in 15 under the former Newcastle and Crystal Palace manager, and this was their sixth successive loss in all competitions.

But Brunt, at the centre of a dressing-room row after last weekend’s defeat by Huddersfield which saw Pardew bow to player power and change his system, accepts he and his team-mates must shoulder the blame.

The Albion midfielder, partly responsible for the horrible mix-up that led to Troy Deeney’s 77th-minute winner for Watford, said: “Of course the players are just as responsible.

“The way football is, it falls on the manager’s head. But you go home and look in the mirror and ask yourself if you’ve done enough.

“For a lot of the season the majority of us have been looking at each other and saying we haven’t played well enough. As a team you share the responsibility equally.

“There was no finger-pointing in the dressing room. We worked hard. We created chances. We played better than we have in the last few weeks. One mistake cost us. It is fine margins in this league.

“There are nine games still to go. There’s a lot of points to play for. It’s been a long, hard season for everybody. It hurts.

“This season we haven’t been playing well enough to get the points. It would be easy to chuck the towel in, but with nine games to go you can’t do that. We have to reassure everybody that we’ll definitely not be doing that. If we can win a couple you never know, other results might fall for you.

“Hopefully the fans that travelled will have seen and appreciated the effort we put in.

“Things aren’t in our hands now. We need snookers. But it’s up to us to go out there and keep working hard.

“Next week we play Leicester and that is massive. We’ll be doing our best to put it right. You can’t give up until somebody tells you you’re gone.

“If we managed it, it would be the greatest of great escapes. But until it’s mathematically impossible you’ve got to keep striving.”

For Pardew, the atmosphere is becoming toxic. The 2,500 Baggies fans backed their team to the hilt on Saturday, and only at the end did they sing: “Alan Pardew, get out of our club.”

The shame of it is that Albion were the better team for large periods of a poor game. Grzegorz Krychowiak should have put them ahead in only the fourth minute but saw his shot blocked, and though Ben Foster had to make a fine save from Daryl Janmaat, Albion looked the more dangerous, as Jonny Evans clipped a post.

But then there is Salomon Rondon. In the first half he put a header over then fluffed a one-on-one, and midway through the second half criminally put a header wide from six yards. Had any one of those gone in, Albion could have won.

Contrast Deeney. Brunt and Krychowiak get in a muddle with no apparent danger in midfield. Will Hughes nips in, wins the ball, sends Deeney through the middle, and he fires the ball home.

Hornets defender Adrian Mariappa said: “Whether Troy is scoring goals or not and whether it’s on or off the pitch, he’s massive for the club. He’s club captain but a huge player for us in terms of the way we play.”

That, in the end, was the difference.

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