Boss bemoans too many 'off days'
By Site Editor
Updated Monday, 26th March 2012
Hodgson disappointed with first half show
Roy Hodgson admits too many players under performed in the first half against Newcastle yesterday.
Albion crashed to their ninth defeat of the season at home after a Papiss Cisse’s double was sandwiched by a Hateem Ben Arfa goal as the hosts found themselves three down after only 34 minutes.
Second half substitute Shane Long got a goal back for the Baggies in the 53rd minute, but Albion were unable to stage a comeback after the break.
“The quality Newcastle showed was far superior to the quality we showed as a team,” Hodgson admitted.
"Their passing and ball control was much better than ours.
"A lot of our players had an off-day on the ball.
"Balls were bouncing off them or their passes were off, whereas Newcastle's passing was very good.
"Of course they had the great advantage of being two goals up after 12 minutes.
"They were playing with wind in their sails and with margin on their side, whereas we were anxiously chasing to get back into it and sometimes that effects the composure people show on the ball.”
Hodgson was pleased with the response of this players after the break, but concedes it was an uphill task after being hit on the counter three times inside the first 30 minutes.
"In the second half I thought, to the players' credit, they gave it a good shot to get back into it,” he added.
"Getting the early goal gave us a bit of momentum but that certainly disappeared when Morrison got injured and had to go off because we had to do it with ten men having made all our substitutions.
"In the end the only solace we can take from the game is that we did win the second half, which is not easy to do when you're 3-0 down.
"That's probably the task we set ourselves - to at least win the second half.
"We knew it would be hard to get three or four goals and not concede any but at least we tried to make certain we won it so that we reduced the damage.
"But we were caught badly on the counter-attack in the first half with two of the goals.
"We left ourselves very open and lost the ball in areas we had no need to lose it.”
Have your say on Albion's defeat at WBA-MAD's fans' forum here at Baggies Banter.