BEN Foster has backed his team-mates to bounce back from crushing last-gasp 2-1 defeats by Manchester City and Newcastle in Monday’s home clash with Southampton (ko 8pm).
The Hawthorns goalkeeper could not praise Steve Clarke’s men enough for what he felt was one of their best performances of the season at St James’ Park on Sunday, only to come away empty handed.
But he firmly believes, if Albion respond like they did to their City disappointment, they will be more than a match for the 19th-placed Saints.
“We showed that we have spirit," said Foster.
“We deserved to get at least a point if not three against Manchester City and to bounce back as we did at Newcastle, against a very good team, shows that it won’t get us down.
“We will keep on playing the way we know we can.
“The gaffer said in the changing rooms that as long as we keep on playing like that we will win a lot more games than we lose.
“And he is damn right.
“We’ve got to look to the next game now and Southampton on Monday night is a game we would expect to get something from with the way we’ve been playing.
“We played really well against City and then again at Newcastle, and Southampton will know they’ve been in a game.
“We hustled and harassed Newcastle and didn’t give them a second on the ball and we’ve just got to put Newcastle behind us and move on.”
He added: “The gaffer has been great. He just tells it how it is and the lads appreciate that.
“He doesn’t sugar-coat things or try and con you, he just tells it how it is.
“We’ve got an experienced team and if he was trying to con you then you wouldn’t buy it.
“But he tells it how it is.
"He knows we played well on Sunday and everybody gave 110 per cent, and he couldn’t ask any more of us.”
The former Manchester United keeper admits he was shell-shocked after Papiss Cisse’s injury-time deflected winner.
And had nothing but sympathy for the 1,400 Albion fans who made the long trip to the North East.
“The lad took a horrible shot and I was moving towards my right post to shepherd it past because I think it was going just wide,” said Foster.
“I think Cisse just put his hands over his head and tried to get out of the way and it hit his back and spun in the corner.
“It was almost like slow motion watching it going in and it killed us. It was horrible.
“That was heartbreaking. I was a little bit lost for words because we were so good.
“We played Newcastle off the park, there was only realistically one team that was going to win the game and we were giving it a good go.
“We went to St James’ Park and played them off the park and we were just super, super unlucky.
“Everyone was gutted in the changing room but everybody can hold their head up and be so proud of that performance because we were so good.
“That is probably one of the best games we’ve played this season.
“It definitely feels worse than playing badly and losing.
“We deserved to get something out of the City game and we deserved at least a point against Newcastle, if not more, and we’ve gone away empty-handed.
“It is a terrible feeling and I feel for the fans as well.
“It was a huge distance to travel and they were right behind us all through the game, making a great noise, so I’m disappointed for them too.”