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Page last updated at 13:26 GMT, Friday, 14 January 2011

West Bromwich Albion must wake up - Paul Scharner

Paul Scharner
Scharner has dropped into defence after starting the season in midfield

Centre-back Paul Scharner says West Bromwich Albion must not hide behind excuses as they slide towards the Premier League's relegation places.

The 30-year-old Austria international does not think the 16th-placed Baggies should blame bad luck.

"I think it's time to wake up and keep the focus high and work very hard to get the points," he told BBC WM.

"It's always easy to look for excuses, actually we have to start with us, we are missing the will to win games."

West Brom have lost their last five Premier League games, leaving them a single point above the bottom three.

We always talked about good team spirit - now it's time to show it

Paul Scharner

And the former Wigan defender knows victory over Blackpool at the weekend could be a crucial boost to confidence.

"Obviously it is a big part, the confidence," he noted. "But I always think it's important to be professional, to be fit and to be right for the game and do everything to win.

"It's all in your hands whether you're lucky or not, because if you work very hard you can get something done.

"In the early part of the season we always talked about good team spirit in the dressing room and now it's time actually to show it because we are in a very difficult situation."

Head coach Roberto di Matteo has decided to drop goalkeeper Scott Carson for the Blackpool game, with deputy Boaz Myhill making his first Premier League appearance of the season.

Carson's demotion also means the captain's armband passes on to Northern Ireland international Chris Brunt.



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