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McAuley: I rose to challenge

PUBLISHED

19:00 14th September 2013

Defender makes it three in three

GARETH McAuley has revealed his team-mates’ challenge spurred him on to net a stoppage-time equaliser in today’s 1-1 draw at Fulham. 

The Northern Ireland international scored in each of his country’s World Cup qualifiers last week – and was then tasked to make it three in three by his Baggies colleagues.  

McAuley is delighted his late strike also ended the club’s run of three Barclays Premier League outings without a goal.

“It hung up quite nicely and I just had to get my head on it,” said McAuley.

“To be fair, Brunty seems to find me from set pieces. 

“I could see it all the way and I knew the defender wasn’t able to get to it.

“I knew if I got it on target it had a chance of going in.

“It gives you an extra buzz when you get a point in an away game in the last minute.

“It’s not been too bad a week for me.

“Some of the lads asked if I could do three in three.

“Today’s was the most important.

“I’ve done that so now I might have to try to score four in four.

“It was great to score in injury time.

“We needed it.

“It was important we got off the mark today.

“It’s a monkey off our back.”

McAuley believes today’s hard-earned point will give the Baggies the impetus ahead of next Saturday’s clash with Sunderland at The Hawthorns (ko 3pm). 

“We’ve been putting the effort in," he added.

“Today was a better performance.

“Especially as we were away from home.

“We knew we had to stay in the game and we did that.

“We hung in there and in the second half we had the better of the chances.

“It gives us a platform to build from going into next week’s home game with Sunderland.

“We need to take the positives from this game and grow in confidence.”

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