Tony Pulis defended his decision to make 10 changes and start Victor Anichebe in midfield in West Brom’s 3-0 defeat at Norwich.
Anichebe started in a defensive midfield role and was replaced by James McClean on 76 minutes, while James Chester played at right-back as Albion were swept aside at Carrow Road.
Craig Gardner’s shot, five minutes into the second half, was their first on an uninspiring evening in which they unquestionably deserved defeat following goals from Norwich’s Matt Jarvis and Kyle Lafferty and an own goal from Sebastien Pocognoli.
However Pulis, who had given the latter his first appearance since January’s 7-0 FA Cup win over Gateshead, still said that he was pleased with their performance.
“Three-nil was a bit harsh, especially in the second half,” said Pulis. “When it was 1-0 we had some very good opportunities.
“(James) McClean, he was trying to get it on his left foot, he could have stepped round the goalkeeper and touched it in. Then they get the same situation down their end, Lafferty scores and it’s the end of the game. I don’t think it was a reflective score.
“You make a decision whether to play players who haven’t played and those players have worked as hard as those in the first team – sorry, the team that played at Aston Villa on Saturday.
“Bringing them here, they were very, very bubbly and with a little bit of luck it might have been a different scoreline. They have been away from that tempo for a while and it took a while to get going.
“No, (it didn’t backfire) not at all. (Norwich) left seven or eight out so they did the same.
“They want to play games so it was their opportunity to play. McClean, we were disappointed he’s not stuck a couple away but he brought us energy and life when he came on.”