Club News

Foster calls for final flourish

Stopper stresses Albion's work is not yet done

BEN Foster has urged Albion to maintain a strong finish to the season and insists ‘we’re not safe yet’.

Saturday’s 1-0 triumph over West Ham, courtesy of Saido Berahino’s ninth goal of the season, leaves the Baggies four points and a strong goal difference clear of the drop zone.

Those in the bottom three have two matches remaining while Albion start the last of their three fixtures away at Arsenal on Sunday (ko 1.30pm), followed by a trip to Sunderland and a home encounter against Stoke on the last day. 

And goalkeeper Foster wants to see no let-up as the Black Country club look to mathematically confirm their top-flight survival.

“Everyone is buzzing and it’s relief more than anything,” he said after victory over the Hammers.

“This win probably gets us within touching distance of safety but we’re not safe yet, it’s as simple as that.

“We need to crack on. We’ve got Arsenal, Sunderland away and then Stoke at home and I’d like to think we’ll get four to six points from them, so hopefully it will be a strong finish.

“We can’t relax now and put our feet up. 

“There are a few winnable games in there and that’s what we have to aim for.”

In-form Albion have collected 11 points from the last 21 on offer, losing just one of their previous five – away to title-challenging Manchester City.

The clean sheet recorded against West Ham was the first in three games and only the second in 15.

England stopper Foster played a big part as he contributed with another fine display. 

He said: “I knew it was going to be busy and we knew they were going to have chances, just through the style they play.

“They are always going to cause trouble because it’s not just about the first ball into the box, they always play for the second, third and fourth.

“It’s always a bit of a scrap, but fair play to the lads, and not just the back four but the ten in front of me. We defended from the front and it was a huge win.”

The highlight was a superb first-half stop from an Andy Carroll header, and Foster added: “It was a decent save but it was kind of in the vicinity.

“I can’t really remember too much about it. All I can remember is the last five minutes and them trying to get the ball off Big Vic in the corner and getting nowhere near it.”

Victory was head coach Pepe Mel’s first on home soil, with the Spaniard cruelly denied in Albion’s last two home matches as both Cardiff and Tottenham snatched dramatic 3-3 draws in injury time.

But Albion’s biggest home attendance of the season - 26,541 - was present to enjoy Saturday’s success.

And Foster hailed the contribution they made throughout.

“The last-minute goals we conceded against Cardiff and Tottenham made it quite tense but fair play not only to the lads but to the fans as well,” he said.

“When you’ve got all the fans singing the way they did it puts a bit of doubt in West Ham’s minds.

“Our fans were willing the ball into the corner for us (at the end).”