KEVIN Keen has urged the players to use their Madejski Stadium bombshell to motivate them in this week’s Hawthorns cup and league double against QPR and Villa.
The Baggies’ joint-assistant head coach has described the surrender of a two-goal lead in the final nine minutes to lose 3-2 to struggling Reading as one of those ‘freakish’ things in football.
He revealed the theme of yesterday’s meeting with Steve Clarke’s troops focused more on the impressive football they played before the Royal’s late salvo.
And he is confident the players can turn things around in tonight’s FA Cup third-round replay with Rangers and Saturday’s Barclays Premier League derby with Villa (ko 5.30pm).
Keen said: “We looked at the game yesterday morning and we highlighted the 81 minutes rather than the last nine minutes because events like that don’t happen that often – it was a freak.
“We’ve got to deal with it.
“We’ve got a good, experienced bunch of players.
“We’ve gone over it and let’s move on to the next game.
“It has motivated the players more.
“The feel in the meeting was that ‘things happen’.
“We focused on the positives but we’re going to use it as a positive to invigorate us and make us kick on.
“We want to use it as a motivating factor because we were extremely disappointed with the result.
“The meeting we had, when Steve showed a few of the clips from Saturday, was a bit of a cleansing experience and we know that it’s gone.
“We played really well for 81 minutes and things like the last nine minutes happen in the Premier League.
“That’s the magic and why people in Taiwan and Scandinavia like to watch it, because things like that happen.
“We’ve got an experienced bunch of players who won’t let it affect them, we’ve moved on from it and we have focused more on the positives than the last nine minutes.
“We will be going out tonight and on Saturday and hopefully using it as a motivator for the next two games, which are two great home games to have - and hopefully it will become three great home games if we get through in the cup.”
Seventh-placed Albion have now lost their last three top-flight games but Clarke’s joint-No.2 insists there has been no resting on their laurels.
“We had a little hiccup earlier in the season when we lost two or three games on the trot and came back to beat Norwich and QPR, so it happens in the Premier League," he added.
“You’re playing against good teams every week and it’s a tough, relentless league.
“There is no way the players are comfortable or resting on their laurels.
“This group has enough experience and we will go again.
“We will keep trying to hang on to the top of the table.
“That’s what we’re trying to achieve this season.”