Former Aston Villa man shares his first impressions as West Brom react to promotion blow
West Bromwich Albion have made another transfer window signing – by appointing Gary Walsh as goalkeeping coach.
It comes just months after he left rivals Aston Villa, where he worked as part of Steve Bruce’s backroom team.
Walsh, a former Bradford City team-mate of Albion head coach Darren Moore, arrives at The Hawthorns with a wealth of experience.
The 50-year-old began his coaching career while still a player at Wigan, before taking on the role at Derby, Hartlepool, Hull and Villa, where last season he worked with Albion keeper Sam Johnstone.
Walsh will also work closely with Boaz Myhill, Jonathan Bond and Alex Palmer.
“I’ve only had a couple of sessions but I’m impressed with all four,” said Walash.
“Sam has grown and grown since coming down from Manchester United first to Villa and now with Albion. Boaz is Boaz – and Albion are fortunate to still have him.
“He wasn’t well when I trained with him but he’s got himself very fit, he’s very committed and he’s still got that hunger.
“I tried to get ‘Bondy’ while working at Hull and I was impressed with young Alex too. He completes a strong four.”
Walsh was part of the backroom staff that left Villa when Steve Bruce was sacked in October.
He replaces Neil Cutler, who left to join Villa after Dean Smith was appointed as Bruce’s successor.
Norwich City striker Jordan Rhodes struck seven minutes from time inflict a promotion blow for Albion.
His late equaliser denied the Baggies a win that would have seen them leapfrog Norwich into third.
Fit-again forward Dwight Gayle put the Baggies ahead with his 14th goal of the season.
Albion maintained the lead for 71 minutes, but were undone by a Rhodes strike that was carbon copy to Gayle’s.
West Brom have chased the Canaries long and hard in recent weeks, but the draw means they remain three points adrift.
Albion’s preparations for such a pivotal fixture could barely have gone any worse.
Influential midfielder Harvey Barnes was recalled at the eleventh hour by parent club Leicester.
Impressed by his virtuoso displays for the Baggies, Leicester boss Claude Puel felt he had no choice in the end but recall the talented youngster.
To make matters worse, Matt Phillips and James Morrison were ruled out late on through injury.
Mason Holgate’s raids down the right were a feature and the source of West Brom’s opener.
This time he took power off the cross and picked out Gayle to stab the ball beyond Krul at his near post.
At 1-0, the game was never dead and Norwich duly delivered a late reply after substitutes Kenny McLean and Rhodes combined in lethal fashion.
Renowned for late goals, Norwich had the momentum, but Albion wrestled it back to finish strongly.
Robson-Kanu stung Krul’s hands with a volley and Holgate blazed over after fashioning the chance for himself.
Holgate drilled another shot wide as the Baggies were forced to accept a point against their promotion rivals.
Here’s how Albion fans on social media reacted to the Norwich result
Mark Bryant: Feel for Big Dave. Needed a change but had no options in the middle of the park where we needed change. Mr Lai get your chequebook out.
Robert Parnell: Poor result for us, really thought we would do them! We now need to look over our shoulders!
Tommy Allison: I thought we played well. Pity we couldn’t get that second goal.
Ross Kelly: Three clean sheets all season – lol. Loving the adventurous football, don’t get me wrong, but defending is shocking.
Gary Turley: 2 weeks to spend or no Prem – simples.
WHAT THE BOSS SAID
Albion manager Darren Moore said: “I’m really pleased for the team and with the performance. We went for the three points, everybody could see that.
“But, really I’m looking at the performance as a whole, which was fantastic. I thought we limited Norwich brilliantly with our work off the ball and when we had possession, we used it well at times and created chances.
“A second goal was just eluding us, but when we were 1-0 up, I felt that if we kept doing the right things at the right time, we’d be OK.
“They gambled and it paid off for them today.”
DRESSING ROOM VERDICT
Baggies defender Craig Dawson said: “It’s hard to take, I thought we played very well.
“It was a great performance, we were disappointed not to come away with three points.
“I thought we were the better side but unfortunately I feel it was probably two points dropped, but it was a great performance and we take that into the next game.
“The spirit in the group is good.”
Norwich boss Daniel Farke said: “Away at West Brom is always a tough place to come and to come away with a point after going behind, is always a top result.
“We have to say it’s probably a fair result, but we had chances to win the game which leaves a bit of disappointment.
“But, it’s still a top result. The two teams are close together.
“I’m really pleased for Jordan Rhodes coming off the bench and showing the end product with his goal. It’s great that he and Kenny McLean were able to come on and fulfil my ideas.”
How will West Bromwich Albion get on at Bolton Wanderers?
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Bolton Wanderers vs Albion, Championship, Macron Stadium, 8pm, Monday, January 21
It’s going horribly for Bolton on and off the pitch.
While their financial troubles rage on in the background, they find themselves second from bottom in the Championship table.
Their latest setback was a 2-1 defeat at Bristol City on Saturday afternoon.