West Brom’s caretaker head coach Jimmy Shan has heaped praise on his side after they were defeated on penalties by Aston Villa in their play-off semi-final.
West Brom were victorious on the night, with Craig Dawson’s header securing a 1-0 win to take it to penalties after 120 minutes.
However, Villa were victorious on spot-kicks thanks to some clinical penalty taking and saves from ‘keeper Jed Steer, condemning West Brom to a second season in the second tier after relegation from the Premier League in 2018.
Speaking to the club’s website after the defeat, Jimmy Shan lauded praise on both his players and the club’s supporters, saying that the atmosphere at the Hawthorns bettered that of Elland Road and Villa Park.
“It’s always a horrible way to lose a game of football, to go to a shoot-out,” Shan said.
“Credit to the boys, they dug deep going down to 10 men. Our task was to try and stay in the tie and nick a goal if we possibly could.
“I spoke to the boys before the game about application and work-ethic and making sure that we didn’t leave anything on the pitch. We sent out a rally cry for the fans to get behind the team and the atmosphere was incredible.
“I’ve been to Villa Park, I’ve been to Leeds United, which are probably the best two grounds in terms of atmosphere – for me, tonight bettered that. It was absolutely magnificent.”
Shan went on to praise skipper Chris Brunt, who was sent off in the second half after a foul on John McGinn warranted a second booking of the match.
“Fair play to the boys, they self-managed, their discipline without the ball was outstanding and the three centre-backs were a tower of strength.
“I’m absolutely gutted for Chris (Brunt). Since I’ve been in my caretaker role he’s been a key player. He’s been influential. He’s every bit the captain you’d want at this football club.
“It’s a testament to the players and their character, the way they performed. They definitely got an uplift from the fans and my message was an emotional one, from the heart, thanking them for their efforts. They’ve given me everything. I’m just devastated we’ve not seen the journey through.”