Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Megson Wants Team to Learn Killer Touch

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Megson Wants Team to Learn Killer Touch

Article excerpt

West Brom manager Gary Megson is urging his Baggies to develop a ruthless streak in front of goal after their failure to finish off Aston Villa in an enthralling Barclays Premiership Midlands derby at The Hawthorns.

Villa stunned Albion with a fourth-minute opener, Olof Mellberg rising to head home Thomas Hitzlsperger's cross from the right wing.

The visitors went close to a second when a re-run of the same move ended with Baggies keeper Russell Hoult parrying the Sweden international's header and Paul Robinson hacking the ball off the line.

But West Brom were back on terms before half-time thanks to Neil Clement who headed home Jonathan Greening's cross in the 38th minute.

The hosts went on to dominate the remainder of the game only for steadfast ( and occasionally desperate ( Villa defending to keep Albion at bay.

Megson confessed: "Looking at the game with five minutes gone, and after having conceded such an early goal, you'd say a draw was a good result for us.

"But when the whistle went after an hour-and-a-half's football we were disappointed, in fact very disappointed, not to have won.

"We started very poorly, and you could see their goal coming simply because of the way we prepared to defend the set-piece.

"If we continue to defend like that we're only going to give ourselves problems."

Even so Megson was prepared to give the opposition credit.

"Their goal was as much a result of good attacking play as bad defending on our part, and we're going to come across that every week in the Premiership," he said. "Every team we play is going to have people like Hitzlsperger who are capable of delivering quality balls and people like Mellberg who will be up there to attack it.

"But we're the same. We've got players who can produce quality crosses and we've got athletic players who are going to get across defenders and score goals."

There was only fleeting evidence of that yesterday, and Megson added: "I thought we showed it with our equaliser and after that we just needed to score again but it never happened for us. …

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