Alan Pardew thanks West Brom fans for role in victory over Brighton
Boss Alan Pardew has thanked the Baggies fans for their role in today's crucial win over Brighton and Hove Albion.
The atmosphere at The Hawthorns was electric for much of the 90 minutes, helping Pardew's team to a 2-0 victory that ended a 20-game winless streak in the Premier League.
Each home fan was given a cardboard clapper on their seat, and many took up the opportunity to use them in order to raise the noise.
The home crowd were given a chance to cheer early on thanks to a Jonny Evans goal four minutes into the match before Craig Dawson's header after half-time sealed the victory.
In the second half there were renditions of 'Alan Pardew's Barmy Army' coming from the Smethwick End, despite the fact it was his first league win at his ninth attempt, and five minutes before full-time the head coach was whipping up the crowd from the touchline to help get the team over the line.
"The biggest highlight of course was the stadium," he said, afterwards. "To be on the run that we're on to have a stadium like that, we can count ourselves very fortunate.
"I thank them, because it's going to be massive going forward. We've sent them home happy tonight, and if we can get a home crowd like that in the remaining games we'll win enough."
The majority of Albion fans appear to have taken to Pardew. The head coach has improved performances since his arrival in November, but until recently, had struggled to improve results.
However, victory over League Two Exeter City in the FA Cup third round last weekend has been followed up by his first win in the league today.
"I like to think they're an educated crowd and they've seen signs of it," said Pardew. "But it's no good seeing signs of it. We've got to win and we had to get the three points today.
"There was a lot of facets to the game, we managed the last 20 minutes very well.
"Our work this week was reflected on the pitch and that's how it should be. Work hard on the training ground and you get your reward on a Saturday. They've done that for me, I'm really pleased for the players.
"We've had some really good performances here without actually getting the three points," he added. "To get the three points was very important.
"I thought the team played exceptionally well considering the pressure we were under.
"It was easy to say it was a must-win game but it was a very important game in the calendar. We worked hard to achieve the goals we wanted."
Pardew tweaked Albion's set-piece routines in the week, and the work paid off, because the Baggies scored from two drilled corners.
However, the head coach also highlighted the team's threat from open play.
"Our free play and open play was as good as since I've been here so it's quite ironic we get two set-play goals," he said. "But we are strong at set-plays so it all bodes well going forward.
"This team historically, especially under Tony's period, has been very strong with set-plays.
"But in the last six months it's not been as strong so we've put some new ideas in and changed it around a little bit.
"And had players come back to us, particularly Dawson, who's a great threat. It was a great second goal."
Dawson had to be removed towards the end of the game after clashing heads with fellow defender Ahmed Hegazi.
"It was a big bang," said Pardew. "We'll have to wait and see, they looked a bit groggy."