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Downing proud of West Brom

West Brom caretaker manager Keith Downing was proud of his players after seeing them snap their nine-game winless run against Newcastle United on New Year's Day.

The Baggies had been sliding down the table of late, form that culminated in Steve Clarke's sacking and Downing taking control of first-team affairs.

The Magpies were reduced to 10 men following Mathieu Debuchy's second-half dismissal with Saido Berahino's late penalty giving West Brom a priceless three points.

"You could tell by the reaction of the crowd and the players it's been a long time coming, but it's been coming over the last week or so. We've had a good Christmas and we've finished up with a good home win today," Downing told Sky Sports.

"You saw the last five minutes. It was all a bit hectic and bit hairy-scary. The players have dug in really well. They've done that over the last week or two. I'm really pleased for them because they've turned it around.

"I asked the question when I first took it on. I asked them to challenge themselves. They've done that and I'm pleased for them."

Finishing qualities

Downing knows Berahino's finishing qualities and although the striker is only 20 years old the Baggies caretaker had every confidence the youngster would slot home the penalty.

"Coolness personified," he added. "He's got a lot of experience in that young head of his. He's a natural finisher. I had every confidence when he stepped up. It was a good finish.

"I think it's a case of him keeping his feet on the ground. Keep learning from the experience around him. Hopefully we've got a talent here."

West Brom are now unbeaten in four under Downing and he believes it will benefit the club to make a managerial appointment, especially with the transfer window now open.

"I think it's really important (to make a swift decision). I've said all along that the club has made correct decisions over the last three or four appointments so they will continue.

"I've sort of been thrown in it two weeks ago. I've really enjoyed it. I've had the support from the players and staff. A lot of credit goes to those people as well."