Belfast Telegraph

West Brom 1 - 0 Newcastle: WBA caretaker wants new boss installed quickly

BY ANDY HAMPSON

West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing urged the club to end the uncertainty over their next manager after overseeing their return to winning ways.

But Downing maintained he does not want to take on the job full time even though he will continue in the role for as long as required.

The Baggies won for the first time in 10 games against 10-man Newcastle, courtesy of a late Saido Berahino penalty.

Downing appears to have had a positive effect since taking charge following the sacking of Steve Clarke last month, with the team now unbeaten in four games.

"I am enjoying it," he admitted. "It is easy to say that because I haven't been beaten but for me it was always about supporting the club and that is what I've intended to do, whether win, draw or lose.

"It was important for the club to try to change the momentum and we have done that over the Christmas period."

Downing has stated a number of times he is not interested in becoming Clarke's permanent successor and when asked if he might now change his mind, he said: "No, I was always in a support role and that is what I intend to do.

"It can't go on, the uncertainty can't go on. There has to be a decision eventually.

"They can't just keep making me caretaker in the next month. There has to be a decision from them. January is an important month in the football calendar."

Brom had the better chances and completely dominated after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Claudio Yacob just after the hour.

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had no issues about the game's two moments of controversy, Debuchy's dismissal and the penalty.

The spot-kick was awarded after goalkeeper Tim Krul - who was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off - tripped Matej Vydra four minutes from time.

Pardew said: "I don't think we can have too many complaints. I thought it was a penalty. Fortunately the forward had a big touch, otherwise we might have lost another player."

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