Frustrated Downing ends with defeat

Last updated : 12 January 2014 By Site Editor

Keith Downing admitted his frustration after watching his toothless Albion side lose 1-0 to Southampton in his final game in charge.

Adam Lallana’s goal after the hour mark was enough to give Southampton the victory in front of new Baggies boss Pepe Mel.

Shane Long missed a glorious late chance to rescue an unexpected point for the Baggies but could only fire his effort straight at Artur Boruc in the Saints goal.

Downing made three changes to the side that beat Newcastle on New Year’s Day. Steven Reid, James Morrison and Shane Long earned recalled to the starting XI.

But Albion failed to find any attacking spark in front of the on-watching new head coach and struggled to find any rhythm throughout.  

“Without the ball we restricted Southampton to not many opportunities – not clear-cut opportunities anyway,” said Downing.

“We’re all disappointed with what we did with the ball.

“I think we were a little bit frustrated today.

“Credit to the opposition; they don’t give you much time and press you as soon as you lose it.

“Our regain football in terms of the first or second pass wasn’t what we wanted – first-half in particular.

“When the goal went in we changed the shape and threw a little bit more caution to the wind, and it opened up.

“We got more into the game as it progressed.

“I’m sure Pepe will work on us in terms of possession and creativity.

“But I thought there was a lot of commitment in terms of the team defensively and some good performances throughout the team without the ball.

“We were just a bit frustrating with the ball today.”

Can Pepe Mel bring a spark to Albion's attacking game? Have your say here at Baggies Banter.