Football - Downing wants end to uncertainty

West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing urged the club to end the uncertainty over their next manager after overseeing their return to winning ways.

But Downing maintained he does not want to take on the job full time even though he will continue in the role for as long as required.

The Baggies won for the first time in 10 games with a 1-0 Barclays Premier League success over 10-man Newcastle at The Hawthorns.

Downing appears to have had a positive effect since taking charge following the sacking of Steve Clarke last month, with the team now unbeaten in four games.

Downing said: "I am enjoying it. It is easy to say that because I haven't been beaten but for me it was always about supporting the club and that is what I've intended to do, whether win, draw or lose.

"It was important for the club to try to change the momentum and we have done that over the Christmas period."

Downing has stated a number of times he is not interested in becoming Clarke's permanent successor and when asked if he might now change his mind, he said: "No, I was always in a support role and that is what I intend to do."

Downing feels the club are right to take their time with their appointment but he thinks it would be better done sooner rather than later.

He said: "It can't go on, the uncertainty can't go on. There has to be a decision eventually.

"They can't just keep making me caretaker in the next month. There has to be a decision from them. January is an important month in the football calendar."

Downing insists he has done little, fundamentally, to turn things around from the poor form that accounted for Clarke.

He said: "Steve was an excellent coach.

"I thought there was a fine dividing line. Decisions went against us at Stoke and Chelsea and then we had a poor week when we lost three on the bounce.

"Confidence started to deteriorate but it wasn't through Steve.

"The players probably just lost a little bit of belief but I think the last two or three performances they have got that back."

The Baggies were good value for their victory, even though it came courtesy of a late Saido Berahino penalty.

The hosts had the better chances and completely dominated after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a two-footed challenge on Claudio Yacob just after the hour.

Downing said: "Newcastle came with seven wins out of 10 and have some fantastic players.

"We had to make sure nullified their strengths. I thought we did that and restricted them to few chances.

"I thought we created one or two really good opportunities.

"The sending off made a big difference and opened the game up for ourselves, but they always looked a threat on the break. We had to be careful.

"But we have made some positive changes. I always intended to do that."

Newcastle manager Alan Pardew had no issues about the game's two moments of controversy, Debuchy's dismissal and the penalty.

He said: "I don't think we can have too many complaints.

"I think Mathieu has been our best player this last period, and he is an honest player. He genuinely went for the ball.

"There was no malicious intent, but you can't take off with too feet like that.

"We are going to suffer, and so will he. He will be a big miss for three games, and obviously it affected us today."

The spot-kick was awarded after goalkeeper Tim Krul - who was perhaps fortunate not to be sent off - tripped Matej Vydra four minutes from time.

Pardew said: "I thought it was a penalty. Fortunately the forward had a big touch, otherwise we might have lost another player.

"I thought the referee got that right.

"That was the deciding factor in a very tight game.

"I can't fault the players. I thought they were terrific in their application and attitude but with this programme, with 10 men, you're always going to be struggling.

"I thought it was a game we had good control over but unfortunately we couldn't get the breakthrough before the sending off. Obviously that changed the game."