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Work-rate key for McAuley

21 August 2012

McAuley delighted by work ethic

GARETH McAuley believes teamwork and organisation earned Albion their opening-day 3-0 victory over Liverpool on Saturday. 

The Northern Ireland international is delighted the Baggies' kicked-off their campaign with a victory and kept a clean sheet at the first time of asking.  

Last term the Baggies waited until mid-September for their first triumph - with Peter Odemwingie scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win at Norwich. 

And the 32-year-old central defender, who played a leading role in Albion’s 3-0 win over the Reds, hopes keeping Luis Suarez and Co. at bay will help breed confidence in Steve Clarke’s defence.    

“Clean sheets are hard to come by in the Premier League and it’s a real team effort to get one,” said McAuley.

“This year we wanted to get a win on the board as soon as possible and obviously it’s nice to get a clean sheet as well.

“We wanted to get off to a good start as last season we were playing very well at the start but couldn’t get the results. 

“Right from the first whistle we got about Liverpool and figured out how to stop them playing – we stifled them a bit.

“I think we caught them a little bit by surprise with the tempo we started at and we got ourselves on top.

“I think they were a bit frustrated with what we were doing to them.

“They had periods where they had a lot of possession and we knew that we needed to stay in our shape and frustrate them.

“We’ve talked a lot about our defence in pre-season and we know we’ve got to be solid at the back.

“One goal can win you a game in this division and we have a lot of firepower in this team.”

And the former Ipswich man hopes Albion can build on their positive start to the campaign at Tottenham on Saturday (ko 3pm).     

“Tottenham are a class side even though they were on the backend of a negative result at the weekend.

“They’ve got goals in their team and we’ll have to be vigilant and wary of them when we go there at the weekend.

“The Liverpool win gets us going and we take a huge amount of confidence from it heading into our next game against Tottenham.

“Hopefully we can build on it over the coming games.”





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