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Coleman loves the score

last updated Saturday 11th February 2006, 11:43 PM
Fulham Manager Chris Coleman

Fulham manager Chris Coleman was in no doubt his striker scored three.

Heidar Helguson scored two - with a third given as a Curtis Davies own goal but definitely one destined for a Premier League ruling - and Tomasz Radzinski and substitute Collins John (two) also got on the scoresheet.

The 28-year-old Icelander and his strike partner Brian McBride were a handful for Albion all afternoon and Coleman was full of praise of his powerful pair.

"They are like throwbacks to the old days," said Coleman. "I liken them to strikers I used to play against in my day. They are big strong boys, they attack the ball and don't give defenders a minute's peace.

"If we put the ball in the box, they will get goals. They caused havoc at Manchester United last week and did the same here. Of course it was a hat-trick for Helguson, there is no doubt about it.

"He's had to bide his time and wait for a chance and was getting frustrated through limited chances but he got his opportunity and has not looked back. He's a tough bugger and I think a few of their lads found that out today."

But he refused to accept his side were safe from relegation even though they are now 12 points clear of Portsmouth.

"We don't accept that yet," said Coleman. "You can go on a bad run of games without a win and if the teams at the bottom win two on the bounce, the margin is cut to six points. We have just got to keep on winning.

"Take nothing away from my team - they were great. Being two up at half-time can be a funny score line but we said to them at half-time don't sit back, go for more goals and they did. It was a great result."

West Brom manager Bryan Robson

West Brom manager Bryan Robson apologised to the club's fans after labelling his side's performance in the 6-1 loss at Fulham as "embarrassing".

Albion captain Kevin Campbell scored a consolation but Robson was left fuming by an inept performance from his side.

"I think I have got to apologise to our fans," said Robson. "We had three-and-a-half thousand down here and they gave us great support.

"It is a pity the players didn't do the same. I thought we started the game well and pegged Fulham back.

"But the first time their goalkeeper kicks the ball down the middle of the park we give them a schoolboy goal. The centre-forward flicks the ball on and the next centre-forward gets to it and we are 1-0 down.

"But that about summed my back four up. For whatever reason, they were just shocking. There's no excuse. If you defend like that in the Premiership or any division, you will get beat.

"I just hope it is a one-off because I just can't see us playing that badly again as far as the defensive unit is concerned."

Robson continued: "A jolt like this is embarrassing and it should hurt your pride. I hope my players are feeling the same way I am feeling at this moment in time.

"You just don't want to see your team perform in that manner. I felt we could have got back into the game at the start of the second half but the first time they get on the ball again, they are straight through the middle of our defence.

"Once you are 3-0 down all the bad habits come in and we defended exactly the way we had started - badly. You never want to get beat to a scoreline like that.

"What we have got to do is get back out on the training pitch and make sure that when we play against Middlesbrough in 15 days' time we are back to what has been doing us pretty well lately.

"It certainly wasn't that here. I've told the players exactly what I thought of their performance - it was sheer bad defending from individuals.

"They got out-muscled which doesn't happen very often with our lads and I thought we were a soft touch. We were mentally weak for the first goal. But you learn lessons from a performance like this."

Robson was also unhappy with Helguson's first-half challenge on his goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak that eventually forced him out of the action in the second period.

"The lad dived into him and how the referee didn't book for it, I don't know. He said he hadn't even touched him but the lad has got a split eye and maybe broken a bone in his ribs, so I thought it was an awful challenge," he said.


Source PA Sport by Adrian Curtis
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