Club skipper highlights importance of second-half reply
CHRIS Brunt has praised the efforts of his Albion team-mates to claw back a two-goal deficit in tonight’s 2-2 draw with Villa at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies skipper’s 49th-minute strike began the comeback before Peter Odemwingie equalised on 83 to earn Steve Clarke’s outfit a well-deserved point.
And the Northern Ireland international insists the hosts' second-half display warranted at least a draw from the 160th West Midlands derby.
“If somebody had said at half-time you’re going to draw 2-2 you would probably have taken it but in the second half we gave it a good go and if there was a team that was going to win it then it was us in the second half,” said Brunt.
“Obviously Villa would have been very disappointed if they’d come away with nothing.
“The first half wasn’t good enough for us and we conceded two bad goals.
“Benteke’s strike was a great goal but we didn’t do enough to stop that and the second goal was a poor goal to concede.
“We came in at half time and we were obviously disappointed but we have some strong characters in the dressing room and we picked ourselves up.
“We all knew what we had to do and we drove on second half.
“To get the goal early in the second half helped and when we got the equaliser I thought we might go on to win it but it wasn’t to be.
“It was a pretty good game for the neutrals and the TV audience.
“On the back of the run of form we’ve been on it would have been nice to win the game but it wasn’t to be.
“As a team, we didn’t get close enough to them and we didn’t stop them playing in the first half.
“They probably showed more energy and enthusiasm in the first half and that was the difference.
“We created bits and pieces but they restricted us to long-range efforts and whenever we hit the target it was straight down the keeper’s throat.
“Credit to the lads, we dug in and in the second half we started to play and we played the way we know we can.
“We created a lot of opportunities and to get a point is probably a fair result."
The 28-year-old admits his heart was in his mouth as he watched his equalising strike hit the post but drop in to register his second Barclays Premier League goal of the season.
“It was important to get the next goal and when it fell I was always going to try and put it in that corner," Brunt added.
“I knew I’d hit it sweet and I thought it was going to hit the post but fortunately enough it came in right at the last minute."