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McAuley on scoring exploits and Cherries triumph

26 February 2017

McAuley tied on seven goals with Salomon Rondon

GARETH McAuley reacted to Albion's 2-1 Premier League victory over AFC Bournemouth at The Hawthorns on Saturday.

The centre-back, 37, scored his sixth league goal of the season and seventh in all competitions, smashing home from close range in the 21st minute after Artur Boruc had failed to punch clear Chris Brunt's corner.

His winner came after Craig Dawson's deflected strike from distance had cancelled out Joshua King's early spot-kick for the Cherries.

It secured a seventh victory in Albion's last eight Premier league matches on home soil, moving Tony Pulis' eighth-placed side on to 40 points from 26 matches.

Speaking post-match, McAuley was delighted to help continue Albion's fine run of form.

McAuley on having to dig in...
"We knew it was going to be difficult, we'd seen a stat during the week that we hadn't beaten Bournemouth in the Premier League. We wanted to try and put that right.
"Thankfully we were on the right end of the result.
"It was quite an early setback in the game, but this team just keeps producing at the minute and long may that continue.
"We fight back, never give up and there's a great spirit, we keep going to the end. It was nice to get the result."

On his first-half strike...
"It fell nicely to me, they're the ones you like when you can just tap it in.
"We work hard on set-pieces and we don't make any apologies for it.
"It's nice to get a goal but it's also nice for it to count towards points for the lads."

On his goalscoring exploits this season...
"People are asking me why? I can only think it's partly because of the new rules, where people can't hold you and wrestle you and you can get a move into the box.
"It's certainly more difficult defending set-pieces. It's maybe a reason why."

On Dawson's nasty clash of heads...
"He's taken a sore one. I thought he looked in a bad way but he seems to be okay in the dressing room.
"Hopefully he'll be able to muster up the fitness to play next weekend."

On reaching 40 points and targets for the season...
"The first objective is to get to 40 points and we've got that.
"We've got a home game next week and we're just focused on that. It will be another tough game - Palace are scrapping for their lives and us wanting points for other reasons.
"I think one game at a time, focus on that, and hopefully we can get past 50 points. It's a big thing for me and a few of the lads who have been here a long time to achieve that.
"After that, who knows?"


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