Downing hails Roy impact
West Bromwich Albion,
Keith Downing was disappointed with West Brom's 3-2 defeat against Arsenal but hailed their best-ever Premier League finish.
The Baggies' assistant boss spoke out after the side ended the top-flight season with a narrow loss in a topsy-turvy clash at the Hawthorns which signalled the end of Roy Hodgson's tenure as manager before he heads off to take over the England job.
Downing watched as goals from Shane Long and Graham Dorrans put West Brom in front after just 15 minutes as they bounced back from going behind to Yossi Benayoun's early opener.
Andre Santos levelled on the half-hour mark and Marton Fulop's second mistake of the game allowed Laurent Koscielny to grab victory with a 55th-minute effort which ensured a third-placed finish for the Gunners.
"We finished the game really strongly with a late rally and came up against some very good defending and last-ditch tackles," said Downing.
"But unfortunately when you're playing a quality side like Arsenal you can't give the goals away that we gave away and expect to win the game.
"We were disappointed with the conceding of the goals but overall pleased with the performance.
"It's a shame because we'd have like to have seen Roy off with a win but giving the goals away gave us a mountain to climb.
"After conceding within the first few minutes we came back really well and showed very good character and good quality of goals.
"We're disappointed with the result but very pleased with the performance."
He added: "To finish in the top half is a fantastic achievement for the club.
"We've had some happy moments, some big scalps at home and we've gone to Newcastle and won.
"We've had some good performances and over the season we're delighted how it has gone.
"We've become an established Premier League team and that's no mean achievement with the resources we have - and that's a lot down to Roy."