Tony Pulis admits he was disappointed to come away from Stamford Bridge with nothing to show for their efforts as West Brom lost 1-0 to Chelsea.
The Baggies had gone to south-west London with a game plan designed to frustrate Chelsea and it appeared to be working until one mistake from Gareth McAuley was seized up by Diego Costa, who finished with aplomb.
Speaking after the match, Pulis was happy with his players’ performance – and admitted he couldn’t have any complaints about the result.
“I was happy all the way through the game. They play a different system to most teams and we’d worked on a structure to beat them.
“We played well – the disappointing thing is that we’ve players who are better on the ball than they showed today. We were careless in possession.
“If you want to play the way you want to play, you have to get that pass off and control possession and cause them some problems. We did that a few times but not enough.
“They are a very hard working group of players – I’m very disappointed for them. Out supporters will go home today very disappointed but having watched a very honest, hard working team that very nearly pulled it off.”
Pulis admitted McAuley could have done more to prevent Costa from scoring the winner, but refused to blame his centre-half.
“It’s disappointing because Gareth [McAuley] has got to deal with it,” he added. “He’s made a mistake and we move on. We don’t really want to criticise anyone. Our structure and organisation was very good.
“One mistake, one chance and the fella puts it away – that’s the difference in quality that separates the teams at the top.”