16 September 2023

Carlos Corberan feels West Brom should have had penalty in draw at Bristol City

16 September 2023

Carlos Corberan insisted his West Brom side should have had at least one penalty to show for an improved second-half performance in their goalless draw at Bristol City.

More than 2,500 travelling fans behind the goal yelled for spot-kicks, first when Zak Vyner blocked a 77th-minute shot from substitute Josh Maja and then when Kal Naismith slid in with a goal-saving challenge on Maja in stoppage time.

Both sides hit the woodwork and had other chances to take all three points from an entertaining clash, which saw City dominate the first half and Albion storm back after the interval.

Corberan said: “With the tackle at the end, it is tough for a referee because he has only a second to decide whether the first contact was with the ball or the player.

“I thought the earlier situation was a more clear penalty. The ball was cut back to Maja for the finish and the only way the defender could block it was by using a hand.

“Unfortunately, we have to assess Maja because he was injured by the tackle. He is an excellent striker with a work ethic and maturity unusual for a player of his age.

“I had to make three or four points during half-time, which together with the changes we made, especially the performance of Maja when he went on, made us play better.

“The most positive thing for us was the performance of the team in the second half.

“It took us 45 minutes to adapt to the needs of the game and to understand which passes would avoid their press and which would put us in the attacking half.

“We also needed to address some competitive detail, which would allow us to dominate the game as we did in the second half.”

Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson watched the game on crutches because of a back problem and assistant Curtis Fleming conducted the post-match press conference.

He said: “Nigel’s back has become bad over the last couple of weeks and he might require surgery.

“It was an archetypal Championship game. We played really well in the first half and created some great situations.

“What we lacked perhaps was a bit of quality in our decision-making and that clinical edge you need to show in such a competitive league.

“Albion were always going to come into it in the second half, but again we had opportunities and their keeper has made a great save from Harry Cornick.

“When you are on top you really have to punish teams in the Championship and we didn’t do that today.

“At times the players had to put bodies on the line, which shows their commitment and there is no reason why we shouldn’t aim high this season.

“We are better than we were last season and why not aim for the play-offs. In recent seasons there has always been a club finish in the top six who were not expected to be.

“We believe in what we are doing and there is a real togetherness about the squad, which takes time to develop.

“Are we the finished article yet? No, I don’t think so. But we know we are going in the right direction.

“You can’t coach what Kal Naismith did at the end. He was prepared to make that challenge in front of 20,000 people and that is an example of the team spirit we have built.”

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