'Shell-shocked' keeper targets at least three more victories
BEN Foster has called on his team-mates to build on their already-impressive home record in Albion’s remaining four fixtures at The Hawthorns.
Only leaders Manchester United and reigning champions Manchester City boast more than the Baggies’ nine Barclays Premier League victories in their own backyard this term.
Steve Clarke’s side will be determined to bounce back from last weekend's 3-1 defeat at West Ham when they host Arsenal on Saturday (ko 3pm), with Newcastle, Wigan and the Red Devils also set to visit B71 before the season is out.
And the England keeper, who turns 30 on Wednesday, has set his sights on at least three more triumphs in the Black Country.
“I think it will be a very big ask to qualify for Europe but we’ve got seven games left with four at home and three away,” said Foster.
“We know our home form has been very good so if we can get three wins from our four games we will be there or thereabouts.
“Our aim is to reach the mid-50s.
“We’re on 44 now and if we can pick up another three or four wins it keeps us in the mix, at least.”
Foster was surprised with Albion’s performance at Upton Park.
“We didn’t see it coming,” he added.
“We’re all a little bit shocked.
“There was something wrong - we weren’t our normal selves.
“I thought we played well at times but you’ve got to give credit to West Ham.
“They deserved their win.
“They were the stronger team and were the ones who you could see were desperate for the points.
“I don’t know what it is, or if the gaffer can have a look at the video and try to put his finger on it, but we’re all just a bit shell-shocked.
“It was a bit of a mystery.
“I don’t know if a few of the lads were a bit leggy after the international break - but credit to West Ham. They are strong and powerful, good at what they do and they did it well.
“We just didn’t look like we were at the races and they really were.
“It was just disappointing.”
Albion’s No.1 believes the outcome of the game might have been different had fellow stopper Jussi Jaaskelainen not denied Romelu Lukaku’s deflected 14th-minute free-kick.
“It came off Longy and it was a great save," he added.
“That would have put us 1-0 up and it would have been a completely different game.
“But Jussi got down so well because he saw it late. He kept his team in it.
“That was a pivotal point because about two minutes later, they came up the other end and went 1-0 up.”