Di Canio salutes solid showing

Kevin Keen admitted his disappointment after West Brom let their

1-0 lead slip in the dying stages of the FA Cup third round tie

with QPR.

West Brom dominated the Loftus Road encounter that ended in a

1-1 stalemate, and although delighted to be in the fourth round

draw, Keen admits he was disappointed after Shane Long’s

79th-minute strike was equalised by Kieron Dyer in the final


The two sides will now battle it out again – the fourth meeting

between the two clubs this term – in 11 days’ time.

Assistant coach Keen said: “We’re a little bit disappointed, we

felt we did well in the game, we played well, especially in the

second half, created chances.

“We felt the game was going to peter out but we slipped up at

the end.

“But these things happen in football and, along with QPR, we’re

in the draw for the next round.

“We’re going to take them back to The Hawthorns and have a real

go at them there. What happened in the last 30 seconds can happen

in any game.

“Today it happened and an old friend of mine, Kieron Dyer, who I

spent many years with at West Ham, popped up with a goal.

“We’re a fraction disappointed but we’ve come and performed and

the squad has done well considering we’ve picked up a couple of


“We’ve got a lot of positives to take from today.”

Keen revealed that Zoltan Gera faces a scan after being forced

off midway through the first half with a knee injury.

“Zolly had a problem with his knee,” Keen added. “He’ll have it

scanned tomorrow and we’ll go from there. We’ve got our fingers

crossed that it’s not too bad.”

The U’s were the better side for long periods of the game at the

Keepmoat Stadium but came away empty-handed after David Cotterill

scored a stunning match-winner six minutes from time.

The winger capped a mazy run with a curling shot into the roof

of the net for his 10th goal of the season – a strike that Saunders

believes will now not see his side relegated.

“We’ve got 50 points now and that means we should be safe and

not get relegated,” said the Welshman.

“I think the last game against Sheffield United, when they

pinched a point after we had been two goals up, took its toll on

the players physically and emotionally because we couldn’t seem to

get going at all.

“But when we don’t get it together we have the ability to keep a

clean sheet and not give anything away.

“I’ve got a team that’s full of character that knows how to win

without playing brilliantly but the goal we scored was worthy of

winning any game.

“It was a brilliant finish and the only dilemma I have is

whether to play David Cotterill on the left or the right.”

Saunders added: “We introduced a couple of new players. Emile

Sinclair made his debut and he is only going to get better because

he hadn’t even trained with us and only met the players a few hours

before the game.

“Lee Fowler made his mark after coming on as substitute. He’s

gone wrong in the past but he’s got a Premier League brain – he’s a

class player and he’s settled down now.”

After beating Tranmere and Portsmouth 5-0 in the previous two

home matches, Di Canio even joked that his side had let him down by

managing only four this time round.

But the flamboyant Italian is impressed by the way his players

are full of goals and confidence after Carlisle were despatched

with embarrassing ease.

“To score 14 goals in three matches is fantastic and shows the

way we are going. Even a top team in the world like Barcelona would

expect to concede one,” said the Town boss.

“I am happy because we got four goals against a team who could

have been a bit of a banana skin for us. We did not slip up or look

like letting in a goal.

“My players were pushing to score goals until the last minute

from the first and Carlisle did not have one chance. Not one of my

players upset me, every one of them did a fantastic job.

“All the goals came from the movement we attempt in our training

sessions – three of our goals were beautiful.

“But I will know when our team has grown up and that is when we

win five or six matches 1-0.”

James Collins, scorer of four goal against Portsmouth, netted in

between Andy Williams’ double before substitute Raffaele De Vita

completed another Robins rout.