Saunders staying grounded

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.”