Shan hails West Brom character as caretaker boss continues winning start

West Brom caretaker manager Jimmy Shan hailed the resilience of his players after seeing them fight back to claim a 3-2 win over local rivals Birmingham at The Hawthorns.

Albion twice had to come from behind to secure a third successive victory since Shan was appointed and move to within four points of second-placed Sheffield United in the Sky Bet Championship.

Gary Gardner’s seventh-minute opener and Lukas Jutkiewicz’s second-half strike for the visitors were cancelled out by Dwight Gayle and a Jay Rodriguez penalty, before Jake Livermore sealed victory with a 74th-minute winner.

Shan said: “It was great resilience and great character.

“I think the group and the team have had that throughout the season.

“We had a little motivational DVD before the game and in there is our late winner at QPR and our late winner at Nottingham Forest.

“So I think that the team have always had that level of character and resilience.”

Shan was promoted from first-team coach after Darren Moore was sacked earlier this month and has guided West Brom to victories over Swansea, Brentford and now Birmingham.

The 40-year-old admits he has no idea how long he will stay in charge and he has no problem with that.

He added: “I am employed by the club as a first-team coach, currently in a caretaker role and I appreciate that.

“I will just keep doing the best job I can until told otherwise to prepare the team and gain three points on match days.

“I am happy to keep going game by game. The players are professional and very much have a focus and they are comfortable with myself and the coaching staff.

“I will do whatever the club ask me to do.”

Birmingham boss Garry Monk, whose side were in action for the first time since sliding into the relegation battle after being hit by a nine-point deduction for breaching the Football League’s financial rules, felt they deserved to take something out of the match.

The Blues are now just five points clear of the bottom three after losing their last five games and Monk admitted: “It was very tough on the players. The way that we feel in the changing room, it warranted points.

“It is a difficult one to take. Conceding that equaliser right away in the second half isn’t the ideal start.”

Monk was also unhappy with referee David Webb’s decision to award Albion a penalty, claiming the challenge by Connor Mahoney on Conor Townsend was outside the area.

He said: “It is a poor, poor decision. I don’t need to see a replay. It is outside the box. Connor takes the ball.

“It is another poor decision that has gone against us. The referee guessed and he guessed against us.

“We have have quite a few guesses go against us which is a shame but we have to live with that.

“I said to the players at the end that we have so much fight.

“We have resilience and we stick together and you can see in the last couple of games how much we have been trying to give those fans the points.

“What we do is what we have always done. We stick together as a club and we will get to where we need to get to,” added Monk, who would not be drawn on the fact that a Birmingham fan encroached on to the pitch after Jutkiewicz scored.

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