sport

Downing waiting on job news

West Brom caretaker boss Keith Downing is waiting to see if Saturday's FA Cup exit at the hands of Crystal Palace will be his last game in charge.

Palace won 2-0 at The Hawthorns in the third round tie, Downing's first defeat in five outings since taking over Steve Clarke, who lost his job following a run of four straight defeats and just one victory in 10 matches.

Downing has always maintained he does not want the job on a full-time basis, despite overseeing three draws and a 1-0 win at Newcastle on New Year's Day in his previous four matches in charge.

Former Real Betis boss Pepe Mel had been heavily linked with the post until talks broke down, with ex-Hannover head coach Mirko Slomka, recently sacked Cardiff manager Malky Mackay and Jose Luis Mendilibar, who was in charge at Osasuna uintil September 2013, among the frontrunners.

"There's no change, I spoke to the chairman a couple of days ago. It's ongoing," said Downing.

"So, really, I sound like a broken record. I'm continuing the do the job I was asked to do two or three weeks ago.

"I'm not sure (if this will be my last game). I'm going to come in on Tuesday and prepare the team for Southampton.

"I've always said that when someone comes in I'm there to support and help the best I can."

Downing admits it has been difficult taking over from Clarke but is hopeful it has enhanced his reputation in the game.

"Hopefully we've changed a little bit of momentum," he added.

"I was always reluctant to step into Steve's shoes because I had a high regard for him. It was with a heavy heart to start with but obviously you have a job to do.

"I've always stated I wanted to come out of it with a decent reputation, with integrity.

"Hopefully you guys (the press) who had never really heard of me have the kind of respect I've shown."