Martis admits Delap focus
Shelton Martis admits West Brom have been focusing on combating the long throws of Stoke's Rory Delap.
Last Updated: 02/04/09 9:19pm
Defender Shelton Martis admits West Brom have focused on combating Rory Delap's long throws ahead of their relegation battle with Stoke on Saturday.
Delap's ability to hurl the ball into the danger zone has proved a thorn in the side of most Premier League defences this season and the Baggies do not want to become Stoke's latest victims.
Tony Mowbray's men are bottom, seven points adrift of safety, and Martis admits the match against their fellow strugglers is a must-win game if they are to keep their survival hopes alive.
"We are doing a lot of training on trying to combat what Rory Delap can do with his throws, and I mean a lot," said Martis. "It has been a big weapon for Stoke.
"It's about being in the right position so you can head it away when it comes into the box. We really have to make sure we are ready to deal with it.
"We will discuss it a lot more in training before Saturday's game and work hard to try to cut out the threat."
Martis went on loan to Doncaster earlier in the season and the Dutchman has returned to form a solid partnership with Jonas Olsson at the heart of the West Brom defence as they secured draws against West Ham and Bolton.
The Baggies had conceded 17 goals in their previous six league games and have failed to win in their last eight league matches.
"We have to beat Stoke, there's no other option," said Martis. "It doesn't bear thinking about not winning because another draw won't benefit us.
"Looking at the games ahead I think we could collect more points. If we win the next two games with Stoke and then Portsmouth away, we are back in it.
"It would give us a lot of confidence going into the games after that. I've got a good feeling that we can avoid relegation.
"Hopefully we can push on with the positives from the Bolton game where it was a good battle at the end to get a point.
"I think we could have got more points but hopefully we can get more from the next two games."