Club News

McAuley: We’re punch drunk

Northern Ireland international enjoyed battle of The Hawthorns

GARETH McAuley is proud of the fight his team-mates displayed to haul themselves off the canvas in yesterday’s 5-5 draw with Manchester United at The Hawthorns. 

The Baggies twice trailed the Red Devils by three goals – but refused to throw the towel in against the Barclays Premier League champions.

And the 33-year-old defender believes the courage on show from his colleagues to slug it out with the best team in England speaks volumes for their team spirit.  

“The game was like a boxing match where both teams were just slugging away, goal for goal,” said McAuley.

“It was a game fitting of the occasion.

“We were 3-1 down at half time and we said to ourselves let’s give it a go.

“We got another goal back and then conceded again.

“To be fair we never gave up.

“We kept on going and slugged it out.

“It was just an amazing game of football.

“At 5-2 down there’s a long way to come back.

“The two quick goals in the second half made a big difference. 

“I think there would have only been one winner if the game had lasted another five minutes.”

The Northern Ireland international hailed the impact of hat-trick hero Romelu Lukaku who came off the bench to turn the tide in Albion’s favour. 

“We got an extra forward on and Rom was unplayable,” McAuley added.

“He changed the game and he got his first-ever hat-trick which is fantastic.

“We’re all buzzing for him.

“It was fitting for him to do that.”

McAuley is already looking forward to next season after yesterday’s thriller at The Hawthorns.

“I’ll have a few weeks rest and then come back," he said. 

“After a couple of weeks you get a bit bored.

“You get itchy feet and you’re ready to get back in again.

“I’ll be looking forward to pre-season when we’ll be hoping to better this season.”