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Sunday, 2 February, 2003, 04:03 GMT
Megson backs Baggies
Robbie Fowler (right) failed to find the target, in contrast to Darren Moore
Fowler looked short of full fitness
West Brom boss Gary Megson believes the Premiership strugglers can avoid the drop after their 2-1 over Manchester City.

Goals either side of half-time by Neil Clement and Darren Moore moved the club one point clear from bottom-placed West Ham United.

And Megson insisted the club now had a "fighting chance" of escaping relegation.

He said: "We are in a difficult position to say the least but people have to know that it is possible to escape, that it isn't inevitable that we go down.

"The players are capable of getting out of this mess, providing we keep battling.

"We have been told all season that we are going down... but now we have a platform to try and get out of trouble."

The result ended the club's eight-match winless streak and came despite the late dismissal of Jason Roberts for an elbow on David Sommeil.

"I was told Jason got a shove from Sommeil then started to throw his arms about," Megson said following the incident.

Robbie has signed for three-and-a-half years, not for 90 minutes today

Kevin Keegan defends new signing Robbie Fowler

"I spoke to the officials but they said there was no choice other than to send him off.

"I didn't have a good view but, if Jason had really meant to hurt the lad, he would have made a more aggressive effort than he did."

Robbie Fowler, making his debut after his 6m arrival from Leeds, was greeted by a massive reception at his new club.

But he looked some way short of full fitness alongside new strike partner Nicolas Anelka.

City manager Kevin Keegan, however, defended Fowler's stuttering display.

"Robbie has signed for three-and-a-half years, not for 90 minutes today," he said. "He needs games but he is not going to get fit by sitting on the bench."

Instead, Keegan castigated his side's poor defending after Clement headed home unchallenged in the 18th minute and Moore was given acres of space to seal the winner in the 71st minute.

"We need to look at our defending at set-pieces again," said Keegan. "We are all right until somebody comes into the box we don't expect to be there."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Stuart Hall
"The Baggies fought like a wolf pack"
West Brom match-winner Darren Moore
"We knew we had to take our chances"
Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan
"We've got a little way to go"
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