Club News

Anichebe challenges team-mates

Striker admits conceding sloppy goals is proving costly

VICTOR Anichebe has challenged his team-mates to get back to keeping clean sheets in their quest for Barclays Premier League survival.

The Baggies' last shut-out helped secure their last win nine top-flight games ago - a 1-0 New Year's Day home victory over Newcastle.

And Anichebe, speaking ahead of Saturday's trip to Swansea (ko 3pm), reckons Albion need to tighten up and stop conceding sloppy goals if they are to get back to winning ways.

“The most important thing is we need to be really hard to beat," said the former Everton striker.

“It doesn’t matter about scoring one, two or three goals.

“The most important thing is keeping a clean sheet and being hard to beat then try to nick a goal or give our players the chance to do something special.

“The only similar situation I can recall in my time at Everton was when we were going through a wobbly situation - and that’s how we got out of it.

“We got a few 1-0 wins and that spurred us on up the league.

“As long as we stick together we can get out of this.

“And if we can get that foundation of being hard to beat we’ve got the players who can score goals.

“Results are all that matter now.”

And, reflecting on the 3-0 defeat by Manchester United, he added: “We weren’t at our best on Saturday and we conceded some sloppy goals.

“We created some good chances but at the end of the day we weren’t good enough and didn’t win enough second balls.

“It’s going to be important between now and the end of the season to win our individual battles with our opponents.

“We’re in a serious position and we need to pull our socks up and get some points.

“The next game we need to improve and all of us know that.

“It’s down to us as players to go out there and play as well as we can.

“It’s not all down to the head coach, we as players need to go out and do well for the team and the supporters.

“Whatever team the head coach puts out, we’re the ones who step over the line and we need to work hard and fight."

A win at the Liberty Stadium would not only keep Pepe Mel's 17th-placed team out of the relegation zone - but would also move them within a point of the 14th-placed Swans.

“We can’t be too down about last Saturday because we’re not going to play Manchester United every week, said Anichebe.

“We’ve had some good results against top teams but the next couple of games against teams around us are the games that are important for us.

“They’re the games we need to start picking up points from."