herald

Monday 11 December 2017

Di Matteo stays grounded after big step forward

Roberto Di Matteo refused to get carried away despite seeing his West Brom side take another huge step towards automatic promotion from the Championship with a 1-0 victory over Coventry last night.

Steven Reid, on loan from Blackburn, grabbed the only goal midway through the first half as Albion threatened to have the game wrapped up by half-time, Robert Koren also being denied a goal despite the ball appearing to cross the line.

But the Sky Blues hit back after the interval with Jonathan Stead, Carl Baker and Clinton Morrison all coming within inches of changing the game.

And although Albion held firm to strengthen their grip on second place, Di Matteo is not taking anything for granted.

"It's one more hurdle that we've passed," he said. "Nothing's been achieved but we're pleased with the three points and the six points from the last two home games."

Leicester manager Nigel Pearson admitted his side must improve at Derby on Saturday after their play-off bid was harmed by a late Reading winner at the Walkers Stadium.

Gylfi Sigurdsson gave the in-form Royals a 2-1 win with a stoppage-time penalty which left the Foxes in fourth place in the table.

Sheffield Wednesday breathed life into their battle for safety as they secured a late 2-1 win against relegation rivals Watford.

Luke Varney was the hero for the Owls as he broke clear to smash the vital 89th-minute winner past Scott Loach and earn his side an unlikely three points. The game seemed destined for a draw after Eddie Nolan's strike for the hosts had been cancelled out by Tom Cleverley's equaliser.

Sheffield United came from a goal behind to keep their slender play-off hopes alive with a draw at Cardiff, who remain on course to secure a top-six finish.

The Bluebirds enjoyed the better of the first half and were rewarded in the 45th minute as Jay Bothroyd opened the scoring with a thunderous 25-yard drive.

But United improved after the interval and equalised when Stephen Quinn bundled home from close range with 23 minutes remaining.

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