Andy Johnson's tackle on Tony Grant was scandalous

Last updated : 18 January 2004 By Tony Scholes

Albion boss Gary Megson had to watch his side play for over an hour with ten men after Rob Hulse was sent off but thought his side did well to be a man short and still be the better side.

"We had a lot of makeable chances today and hit the post," said Megson. "When we went down to ten men they temporarily put pressure on us, but after that we had the better opportunities.

"I am so disappointed for the lads because I thought as a team we worked our socks off."

He then said they had to go for it once the Clarets had gone in front adding: "We changed it a little bit when we went behind. It doesn’t matter in those circumstances if you get beaten 2-0 or even 3-0, you have just got to try and get yourself back into it.

"We scored a really good goal. Neil Clement put Geoff Horsfield away with a good ball and he did really well to put it over Brian Jensen the way he did. That goal gave us the momentum and even though we had only ten men we were still looking for the winner.

"The save Russell Hoult made from Blake at the end was probably the only save he had to make all afternoon other than the goal which he couldn’t see."

Megson then spoke of the decision that cost his side Rob Hulse but incredibly tried to defend his player. Having said that the way West Brom went about their business it is perhaps no surprise that he finds this sort of behaviour acceptable. Worse still he is considering an appeal.

"I’m upset with the sending off," said the Baggies’ boss. "The challenge looked aggressive but Rob Hulse had just suffered an awful challenge down his back. Rob was upset with that but I don’t think this was a sending off. It was nothing more than a centre-forward’s challenge.

"The way the referee was today, it looked like something he was going to do all afternoon, at times he was laughable. We’ll wait for the video to see how it looks before we decide whether we are going to do anything about it.

"Rob is not the kind of player who goes knocking people all over the place but we haven’t got very good experience of other appeals considering what happened with Andy Johnson.

"The fact is Rob was just trying to get away from their player who had a hold of his shirt."

Believe what you want to believe from this clown’s interview – in one breath he admits that Hulse’s challenge was aggressive and then says he was just trying to get away. Megson wants to go away and take a very close look at the way his side play football.

Stan admitted to being pleased with the point but bemoaned the lack of any aerial power up front.

"I thought the players did extremely well under the circumstances," he said after the game. "We battled hard and got a breakthrough but then David May tried to step up for an offside and Horsfield scored.

"But my players did well against a strong and good side and they stuck at it. We have no aerial presence up front so it was hard for us in the box."

And on to the incidents that saw Hulse sent off and also the challenge on Tony Grant that had Stan on the pitch.

"I thought there was a question mark over the sending off but Andy Johnson’s tackle on Tony Grant was scandalous, a coward’s tackle and they got the free kick. If he had been sent off it would have been just in my view.

"But all in all it was a good afternoon’s work for us. A point was fair, we would have liked to have won but they haven’t lost one player from the Premiership last season and are a well assembled side."