Vela vows to lead Baggies fight
Carlos Vela is determined to help keep West Brom up after scoring his first goal for the club.
By Ben Collins
Last Updated: 21/02/11 1:09pm
Carlos Vela is determined to help keep West Brom in the Premier League after scoring his first goal for the club on Sunday.
Vela, who has joined on loan from Arsenal until the end of the season, was the Baggies' derby-day saviour as he struck in the third minute of stoppage-time to claim a 1-1 draw at home to bitter Black Country rivals Wolves.
Keeper Wayne Hennessey fumbled James Morrison's shot and Vela was in the right spot to fire in the rebound, keeping Wolves bottom of the Premier League and West Brom one point clear of the drop zone.
But the Baggies are just three points above Wolves with 11 games remaining so Vela, 21, knows he must keep delivering the goods if Roy Hodgson's men are to be sure of survival.
"I am enjoying it because I came here to play and to try to help the team but I have to work hard and improve my level to help the team," he told Express & Star. "Yesterday was a good day for me and I hope I have more days like that.
"I feel very good. I am so happy that I could help the team a little bit to take a point. Obviously we wanted to win but at this moment we need to take any points we can and work very hard to make sure we're in the best possible position in the table.
"You are always trying to capitalise on a mistake from the other team and to find something. We got the goal in the last minute and got one point.
"I am happy and working hard to help the team. The fans are always very good with us and we have to play and work together and try to keep the team up and try to be more calm in the last few games of the season.
"The team wanted to win but we are happy because one point is better than nothing."
Vela came off the bench in the 73rd minute for his third league appearance for West Brom having made just four at Arsenal this season.
New manager Hodgson is glad to have Vela at his disposal and felt the Mexican striker's goal showed the predatory instincts he brings to the team.
Right place, right time
"Carlos did very, very well. He's very interesting," said the Baggies' boss.
"Arsenal don't make mistakes with talents they sign and he's been a bit unlucky at Arsenal in terms of injuries. He is a good loan signing for West Brom and he looked lively and scored a goal.
"Okay, it was from a rebound and you could say 'anyone can score that'. But that's not my experience. You need to be a goalscorer to be in the right position.
"Actually, the ball came back to him very quickly and he got his feet adjusted very quickly. I have seen those chances missed, so I am very pleased for him."