Boss praise for fringe defenders

Last updated : 20 January 2009 By Wba-mad Editor

Tony Mowbray has laid praise on the door at Carl Hoefkens and Pele after their impressive performances during Albion's injury crisis.

The absence of Abdoulaye Meite and Leon Barnett with hamstring problems and Jonas Olsson, Gianni Zuiverloon and Neil Clement with knee injuries has given Hoefkens and Pele their chance after finding themselves on the fringes of the first-team after summer defensive arrivals.

"When you call on people who haven't played for a while, it just hits home why they need to do the extra work in training, the stuff they don't like because they think they're getting victimised and picked on," Mowbray said.

"Things like a running session in the afternoon - when everyone else is resting - because they haven't played for weeks and they need to keep their fitness levels high.

"Having said that, Pele never moans about anything.

"He's a top professional and an ideal footballer to have at your club."

Mowbray continued: ""Carl has had to step in and play against two of the best wide players in the country in the last two league games," Mowbray added.

"Against Ashley Young and Stewart Downing he's done exceptionally well and not looked out of place.

"I'm pleased for Carl.

"He's a bit like Pele. He has found himself on the outside after Zuiverloon was brought in.

"Yet he has shown he possesses the quality to do well when asked to.

"I'm delighted for him that he's managed to help the team get some points."