Downing delights in late West Brom leveller

Keith Downing expressed delight after his first match in charge of West Brom ended with Matej Vydra salvaging a point at home to Hull City.

Downing, whose only previous managerial experience saw him take charge of Cheltenham Town more than five years ago, was handed caretaker control following the departure of Steve Clarke, to whom he was assistant.

West Brom trailed to a first-half Jake Livermore goal on Saturday, but substitute Vydra rescued a 1-1 draw that provided welcome relief following a run of four successive defeats.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my first 90 minutes in charge and enjoyed the day," said Downing. "We'd liked to have won at home, but a point after four straight defeats is important for us.

"We were not great in the first half and you saw a team that was a little bit anxious and a little bit edgy. But in the second period the players responded well and showed some heart.

"It was a well-worked goal and I'm pleased for Matej. He has had a strange sort of time here. He has been training regularly but not really been in the team.

"I'm pleased for him because he's a regular on the training field and working really hard at his game. He's persevered."

Downing has already ruled himself out of the running to succeed Clarke on a permanent basis, but is happy to fill the void for the time being.

"I have been told to just carry on game-by-game," explained Downing. "I am planning as normal until I get told anything else.

"It was a strange week with Steve going, but the players have rallied round and got a point at the end of the week.

"I want to make it clear that the players have been fantastic after a sad start to the week."


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