West Brom manager, Steve Clarke, has refused to criticise Ben Foster after the keeper suffered an indifferent display in the defeat to Liverpool on Wednesday night.
The Baggies shot stopper had an uncomfortable evening, making a series of handling errors and allowing Nuri Sahin to open his account for the Reds when a tame effort found its way under Foster’s body to level the scores in the first half.
It was not the sort of performance that Albion fans have been accustomed to from the former England man, with Foster’s solid showings in the nets last season leading to a £4 million permanent switch from Birmingham City after a successful loan spell.
The 29 year old had started this campaign in similar fashion and has helped contribute to West Brom’s fantastic start to the Premier League season, with the club currently sitting in the dizzy heights of fourth place.
However, Foster appeared to lose his magic touch against Liverpool as the Baggies crashed out of the Capital One Cup, but Clarke says that he is unconcerned by his goalkeeper’s performance:
“It’s unusual for Ben, but it’s not even worth having an in-depth discussion about,” he said.
“It doesn’t usually happen to Ben, we move on.
“I do think their goal knocked the stuffing out of us. I don’t know why, perhaps because of the nature of it and it was such a soft goal, but we have another game to concentrate on now.”
Clarke will be hoping that Foster can put the display to the back of his mind as attention turns towards Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa, where plenty of football bets will be placed on the Baggies for a win after their start to the season.
It is extremely likely that Foster will once again be handed a starting berth for the crunch tie at Villa Park, and deservedly so, because his form since joining the club has largely been superb.
The majority of goalkeepers will go through difficult spells at some points in their careers, it’s the nature of playing in that position, and few will doubt the fact that Foster is more than a strong enough character to put his nightmare night at The Hawthorns down to experience.
Written by Andrew Ward