Assistant head coach looking to hand over reins on positive note
KEITH Downing is hoping Albion can build on solid away performances against Tottenham and West Ham at Southampton today (ko 3pm) - as he aims to hand over the reins to Pepe Mel on a positive note.
The Baggies assistant head coach will take charge of the team for the last time after taking six points in an unbeaten four-game run as caretaker boss.
Albion’s overall record on the road this term is strong, with just three defeats, six draws and one victory chalked up.
But Downing remains wary of the ninth-placed Saints even though they have taken only one point from their last four home league games against Villa, Manchester City, Tottenham and Chelsea.
“There is a new face watching and I’m sure that will increase the intensity a little bit,” he said.
“But the players have always gone out there with the same approach and I don’t expect any difference today.
“They’ve started really well but they have tailed off a little bit.
“It’s a bit similar to us last year; had a great start and attracted all the interest nationally.
"[Mauricio] Pochettino has done a fantastic job.
“I’m expecting a difficult game as they have lots of energy and good young players there.
“But we went there positive last season and got a very good result, so we’re looking for something similar.
“It will be a tough ask for us but we’ve been to Tottenham and West Ham and we’ve put some positive away performances in in recent times.
“We go with a decent record in the Premier League and we want to improve on the performance in the FA Cup.
“The boys have worked well this week and it’s a place where we can go and get a result.
“And hopefully that will set up Pepe Mel’s first week with a positive attitude.”