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Gutted Jimmy Shan blown away by West Brom crowd and hails 'magnificent' players

By Matt Wilson | Football | Published: | Last Updated:

Proud caretaker boss Jimmy Shan hailed the boisterous Albion crowd and his players after watching his side lose 4-3 on penalties to rivals Villa.

Albion players left dejected. (AMA)

Shan admitted he was gutted after holding on to a 1-0 win for 40 minutes with 10 men at The Hawthorns, only to be dumped out of the play-offs in such a cruel way.

He said Mason Holgate and Ahmed Hegazi, who missed the two spot-kicks, were distraught in the changing room.

But he heaped praise on both of them for stepping up in a tough situation after suspensions and injuries ripped through the Baggies team.

"I'm gutted," he said. "I think the lads did everything I asked them to do, the game plan was working very well.

"We asked them to press a bit higher up the pitch, we had some good moments turning the ball over in their half.

"Naturally Mason and Ahmed are distraught, when you're in that position, it's very difficult to console them.

"But after going down to 10 men, and we looked at what we had left on the pitch we wanted to take it to the shootout.

"We lost Johansen, Brunt, Phillips, Rodriguez who would've been penalty takers. Credit to those lads for stepping up."

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Although Shan had no complaints about Chris Brunt's sending off in the 80th minute, he was unhappy with 'unjust' decisions over the course of the two legs.

"We've been on the end of some strange and some unjust decisions at time over both ties," he said. "We've got to try and control the controllables. I thought the players. were magnificent today.

"I thought we were very good in the second half, I thought momentum was with us until Chris's red card.

"It was a second bookable offence, Chris has got to qualms and neither do I."

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And Shan, who has been told he has a coaching role at the Baggies next season if he wants it, was blown away by the atmosphere.

"I've been here 13 years," he said. "There's been some special moments, the Spurs game last year, for example.

"But this year I've been to two away grounds where the atmosphere was electric, one was Villa Park and Elland Road.

"I think we equalled, if not bettered that atmosphere. They got behind the team, and they gave us an edge."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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