Wait­ing game paid off in the end – Har­vey

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Foot­ball Writer

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

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