Waiting game paid off in the end – Harvey
MIDFIELD maestro Harvey Barnes felt patience was West Bromwich Albion’s saving virtue in the comeback win against Reading.
The Baggies went behind for the second time in three days after Leandro Bacuna put the Royals in front at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
But Albion were vastly improved after the break and blitzed the Royals with a four-goal salvo to win 4-1 and climb back into the Championship’s automatic promotion places.
“We were poor in the first half by our standards this season,” said Barnes, who scored his fifth goal of the campaign during the fightback.
“We spoke about it at half-time and knew we had to be a lot better and, most importantly, we knew we had to be patient.
“We knew what we are capable of and in the second half we have shown that. We kept our nerve. There was no panic.
“We knew we were going to create chances in the second half and we knew the game was going to open up.”
After such a sub-par performance in the opening 45 minutes, you might have expected head coach Darren Moore to lay down the law in uncompromising fashion.
But, according to Barnes, there was no hair-dryer treatment.
Rather, a calm and calculated oration and a revised set of instructions to follow.
“He just got the message across that patience was what was needed,” Barnes added. “We knew the first half we weren’t at it.
“We changed it a little bit and went to two No.10s instead of one to exploit their back five and I think that worked perfectly for us.”
Strike duo Dwight Gayle and Rodriguez were relatively quiet their lofty standards.
Yet Gayle still managed to bag a brace, while Rodriguez was directly involved in Barnes’ goal and so nearly got on the scoresheet himself in injury time.
“When you’ve got quality like Jay and Dwight up there, it is always a confidence booster,” said Barnes, who joined with the England Under-21s squad this week for the first time.
“You know you are going to create chances for them and they are going to create chances for you. Jay by “It is exciting times for the team.” Kyle Bartley appeared to have opened his account for the club with a powerful header to make it 2-1 following Gayle’s equaliser, but it was the latter who peeled away in celebration after getting the faintest of touches to the ball.
“I’m surprised he didn’t try to claim my one as well!” Barnes joked. “We’re always having a laugh.
“It is great we are all scoring goals and setting each other up. It’s great for the confidence of the team.”
Bartley didn’t have to wait much longer for his first goal in Albion stripes.
It was his looping header that rounded off the scoring and took West Brom’s collective tally to 31 league goals – the same as for the whole of last season!
>Harvey Barnes was on the score sheet for Albion against Reading By PAUL SUART