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Tuesday, 26 November, 2002, 10:36 GMT
Hughes hits back
West Brom striker Lee Hughes
Hughes has scored just one goal this season
West Brom striker Lee Hughes has hit back at criticism by his team-mates following Saturday's defeat at Everton.

Hughes' commitment to the Baggies - who lie 19th in the Premiership - was questioned by senior members of the squad after another below-par performance.

But Hughes said he would prove his worth to his team-mates.

He said: "My commitment to West Bromwich Albion should not be in doubt. I love this club and for anyone to suggest otherwise is rubbish.

"That I want to do well for it goes without saying which is why I've been coming in for extra training on my days off to improve my fitness.

"I want to establish myself in the Premiership and any accusations of me not pulling my weight should be made to my face."

Albion manager Gary Megson admitted "harsh words were spoken in the dressing room" after the game which left his side without a win in nine matches.

He said: "I would be concerned if our players were anything other than unhappy in the dressing room immediately after losing a Premiership game.

"It shows they care and we are going to need every ounce of that spirit and passion in the coming weeks and months."

Hughes, 26, is in his second spell at the Hawthorns. He signed from Kidderminster for 350,000 in 1997 and scored an impressive 79 goals in 137 appearances.

Hughes was then sold to Coventry in August 2001 for 5m, netting 15 times in 38 Division One appearances.

West Brom bought him back in August this year for a club record 2.5m but Hughes has struggled to rediscover his touch in front goal.


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