West Brom need a win to put their recent controversial trip to Barcelona behind them, Alan Pardew has admitted.
Jonny Evans was stripped of the captaincy for last weekend’s FA Cup loss to Southampton as a result of an incident involving him, Gareth Barry, Boaz Myhill and Jake Livermore outside a fast food restaurant in Barcelona.
Evans and Barry were booed by a small section of West Brom supporters during the match at The Hawthorns.
Defeat in the fixture meant the Baggies have won just three matches in all competitions since August, and now face a crunch tie with fellow relegation candidates Huddersfield on Saturday.
“I think it’s important we answer the question marks against us in terms of professionalism, how not together we are and all the other sort of things an incident like this throws up. We haven’t really got a defence for all that until we win,” said Pardew.
“We’re trying to put the event behind us by showing the determination to get a win. We know at the end of the game on Saturday that if we haven’t won then it will be a difficult week again for us, and we don’t want another difficult week.
“No one wants to play and work like this. We want to come in and work and smile and have a buzz about us and repay some of the faith our supporters have.”
Pardew has confirmed that Evans is to be reinstated as captain against Huddersfield.
Asked whether that was the right message to be sending out, Pardew proclaimed punishment had been served and that it was time to begin to give Evans some absolution.
“What message?” said Pardew. “He’s paid a heavy price for that, trust me. It’s like all things in life, if you make a mistake are you going to have to pay for it for the rest of your life? I don’t think so.”