Watching brief suits Appleton

BY foxsports • May 20, 2011

Any two from five teams - current drop zone occupants Wigan and Blackpool, plus Birmingham, Wolves and Blackburn - could join West Ham in making the drop to the npower Championship after the season's final round of matches. Albion themselves have consistently yo-yoed between the top two divisions in recent years, but they sit securely in 11th place this time around and Appleton is delighted such an experience will not be repeated. "I wouldn't want to swap places with any of them," he told the club website ahead of the trip to Newcastle. "There are so many twists and turns that are going to happen and it's not going to be one for the faint-hearted. "I can imagine there will be a lot of people drowning their sorrows on Sunday night. "I think what has happened is they have all given themselves a chance over the past few weeks. It could easily have been one or two, or even three, teams already down if they hadn't put a shift in over the past few weeks. "But now, all of a sudden, we've got a fantastic scenario." A fantastic scenario that the Baggies, for once, can regard with curiosity as they focus on other matters. They will face the Magpies - also promoted last season - jostling for position in mid-table, with a top-10 finish still well within reach for either club should the teams above drop points. West Brom go into the game on the same 46-point total as Stoke - in ninth - and Bolton, with eighth-placed Fulham only a further two points clear. Newcastle, meanwhile, trail their midlands opponents by a point and will also have eyes on the top half. "I suppose we have got a little bit of a luxury that we don't have to worry about the threat of relegation," Appleton said. "That said, there will be a lot of fans going to the game on Sunday so we know how important it is to get something out of the game. "Hopefully it will be a win and hopefully we can get ourselves in the top half of the table." Teenagers James Hurst and George Thorne are in line to play some part in the game as Albion make the most of the low-pressure finish to their campaign, but Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans remains on the sidelines due to an ankle injury.

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