GABRIEL Tamas is hoping he impressed enough in yesterday's harsh 2-0 defeat at title-chasing Manchester United to keep his place in the team - but could not hide his disappointment at the result.
The Romania international was drafted in for only his fifth Barclays Premier League game of the season in place of the injured Jonas Olsson (groin).
And he reduced the runaway 50-goal top scorers in the league to an unfortunate ninth-minute Gareth McAuley own goal and a stoppage-time Robin van Persie strike when Albion were pushing hard for an equaliser.
“I think I did okay and it’s too bad I couldn’t stop the second goal as I was quite close to van Persie when he got the ball,” said Tamas.
“I think the rest of the game went okay and I feel very good.
“I’m very happy because I played another game against a big team.
“It’s normal to be frustrated not to be in the team and as a player you need to play as well as you can to try and keep your place.
“We wait for the opportunity to play and now I hope I’m going to play in some good games as obviously I want to stay in the team.”
The 29-year-old defender is now eager to bounce back immediately in the seventh-placed Baggies' home clash with Fulham on New Year’s Day (ko 12.45pm) after a spirited second-half team performance against the Red Devils.
“I think in the second half we played much better and we had more possession,” he added.
“We had some very good moments but unfortunately we didn’t score because if we’d have scored when it was 1-0 to them then I think the game would have changed.
“It’s too bad we lost as I think we played better than them in the second half.
“If you want to win most of your games then you need to be upset when you lose.
“We were on top of the game during the second half and I am upset - as are the rest of the team.
“We played some good football and we wanted more from the game.
“But that is football, you have some opportunities and don’t score and they have half a chance and score.
“We played well but if we want to stay on top of our game then we can’t say we were too good when we have lost.
“We want to win these games and it shouldn’t matter who we are playing.
“It doesn’t matter whether it is Man City, Man United or anybody else, we need to be upset, because we still lost 2-0.
“We need to win against Fulham if we want to stay in the position we have got ourselves in.
“We need to keep the number of games we lose to a minimum.”