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Downing hails comeback kings

PUBLISHED

16:23 28th December 2013

Caretaker boss delighted with team's battling qualities

KEITH Downing hailed Albion’s comeback kings as they fought back for the third game running to earn a point.

Following 1-1 draws against Hull and Tottenham in which they conceded the lead in both, the Baggies twice overturned deficits at Upton Park in a thrilling 3-3 stalemate.

Nicolas Anelka’s quickfire first-half double - his first goals for the club - cancelled out Joe Cole’s sixth-minute opener to give the visitors a half-time lead.

Modibo Maiga (65) and Kevin Nolan (67) strikes then put the Hammers ahead.

But Saido Berahino’s third Barclays Premier League goal of the season snatched a deserved equaliser on 69.

“We set up a system like we did against Tottenham, with three at the back," said Downing.

“In fairness to West Ham they tried to exploit that.

“In the first half we had control of the possession and got ourselves in front.

“Credit to West Ham they got the momentum and put us under a bit of pressure.

“As they scored the third we changed our system and gave them a problem.

“It was a good game to watch.

“I can’t say I’m satisfied with the way the team defended.

“We can’t concede three goals too many times of course.

“But the players take a lot of credit the fact they grow when we concede.

“I thought from Hull, Tottenham and twice coming back today is down to the players’ attitude to get themselves back into the game.

“You can say I make changes and substitutions but you’re only trying to help.

“It’s the XI on the field who make it happen.

“I could sit here and take all the adulation - but I won’t.

“The players have responded really well – that’s what they do.

“You can only advise and try and encourage, and give a little help with a tactical change here and there.

“But the players have to do it.”

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