Darren Moore: No regrets over managing West Brom

Albion favourite Darren Moore has lifted the lid on his time in charge at The Hawthorns – and revealed he has no regrets from his spell as Baggies boss.

West Bromwich Albion manager Darren Moore
West Bromwich Albion manager Darren Moore

The 46-year-old – who is now in charge of Doncaster – has written about his career both as a player and manager in a blog post for the Coaches’ Voice website.

In it Moore discusses the moment he was placed in charge of Albion following the sacking of Alan Pardew.

And how he then managed to transform a side that had just slipped to eight straight defeats.

“This was a team that had lost a lot of games,” Moore wrote in his blog. “Alarm bells were ringing in my head, telling me: We’ve got to stop the rot... The biggest thing for me was to settle everybody down and give them the confidence to know we were a good team. A good club. Let’s take off the shackles that have hemmed us in and show everybody what we’re all about.

“I told them: ‘We need some courage now. And I know you’ve got courage because there are only 500 players worldwide who can play in the Premier League, and you’re part of that’. So you can’t tell me that, out of the millions of people in the world, you haven’t got courage. You’ve just got to go and show it.”

“I knew they were a good group of players and could handle the Premier League. The way I saw it, it was just about switching the lights back on.A few days later, we had our first game, against Swansea at home. We came away with a draw – which, for me, was a great point. Because that point stopped the rot. You can build from it. The next time I came into the training ground, there was a different feel around the place.”

Next up for Moore’s Albion was Manchester United.

“The message was clear, we were going there to win,” he continued. “We went to United with a game plan, and that wasn’t to just sit back – no chance. We went there to try and implement our own playing style and philosophy on them. And they did that – every player, to a man, did it.

“We won the game 1-0. James and I had got a result against José Mourinho – one of the best-known managers in the world of football. But the big thing for me on that day was seeing the players’ faces in the dressing room. The joy of winning was just incredible. I’d rewind again, just for that moment…

“That game was a big one for myself and the players, but it wasn’t until the penultimate game of the season that the fans really felt they had their club back.

“That 1-0 win against Tottenham was probably my most rewarding result. Spurs were playing some unbelievable stuff at the time and we’d had four games by then, so Mauricio Pochettino had seen my West Brom and knew what was coming.

“The tactics changed for that game, though. We sat a bit deeper and were really compact. For 70 minutes, the players were remarkable. Then we brought on two players with quality as good as anything in the Premier League in Daniel Sturridge and Nacer Chadli, and the pendulum swung.

“When we scored, The Hawthorns erupted. But I stayed calm, because I knew there were two things that had to happen for us to go into the last game of the season with some hope of staying up.

“Number one: we needed to get a result. But number two, we needed a draw in the game between Swansea and Southampton, which was being played a few days later.”

Southampton beat Swansea to send Albion down.

Nevertheless, Moore was given the manager’s job on a permanent basis.

“From being a team that sat back and defended in the Premier League, I knew we had to be a team on the front foot in the Championship,” he said. “I was a defender by trade; I like keeping clean sheets, but I also like my teams to be attack-minded. I want them to play open, front-foot football. Want players to express themselves, and have the freedom to make the right decisions... It was about changing the mentality of the players.”

“My ambition at the start of the season was to score 100 goals. When I left, we had 70 and there were still games left to play. I’m not saying we would have got the 100, but it outlines what the mentality was.

“The only way you do that is by playing open, expansive, attacking football. By playing different shapes and formations that will catch the opposition out and allow you to get your nose in front...”

Albion sacked Moore in March 2019 – the team was fourth in the Championship and nine points off the automatic promotion places.

“Given another opportunity, I’d take the same open approach,” the former centre-back added.

“Make sure that all the players know what I’m asking of them. Build a strong connection with my staff and every department. Be connected and committed to the club.

“That buy-in from everybody was key to us getting the success that we did. It shows what can be achieved when everyone is on the same page…

“I left the club in a healthier place than it was when I was given the honour of leading it.

“As a player there, I think I had a positive impact, too. So I associate my experiences at West Brom with nothing but good times.

“And, despite how it ended, it doesn’t detract from the fact it was a positive time for me – one that taught me so much…

“So no, I wouldn’t do anything differently. I gave it absolutely everything, as always. And I have no regrets.”

Top Stories

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News