Club News

Downing relishing his options

And caretaker boss delighted by response from players

KEITH Downing admits he is fortunate to have a fully fit squad to choose from for Saturday’s crucial clash with Hull (ko 3pm).

The Baggies caretaker head coach also revealed he is close to finalising his XI in his head for the Hawthorns encounter.

And he is relishing seeing what his side can do after seeing a positive response from the players in training this week.

“They’ve shown professionalism in their attitude to their work,” said Downing.

“Myself and Deano [Kiely] have put on some training sessions and have got a good response.

“The players are also challenging themselves.

“We put it out to them that they’ve got to challenge each other, demand off each other, and raise their standards by five to ten per cent.

“We need to focus and concentrate on what we’re doing.

“In any walk of life, when you’re a manager of anything, you try and cover all bases, you organise things and try and pick the right team to win the match.

“Ultimately they cross the line and it’s down to those guys.

“There’s a steely determination to put things right.

“I think it’s always been there and over the last couple of games I haven’t seen anybody give it up.

“They are a good set of players and we just need to make sure we get out of this bad run.”

He added: “We’ve had all the players out there training, fresh and ready to go.

“It’s the first time I’m having to manage and select a team here.

“It’s different to being a support coach – but I’m looking forward to it and hopefully I’ll pick the right team on Saturday.

“In my head I’m generally not far off the XI for Saturday.”