Albion goal hero Ward hails keeper's role in play-off challenge

Stephen Ward celebrates the clinching goal but insists a lot of credit should go to Albion's No.1

Stephen Ward celebrates the clinching goal but insists a lot of credit should go to Albion's No.1

First published in Sport by , Chief sports reporter

Albion defender Stephen Ward has paid tribute to Tomasz Kuszczak for another clean sheet and a “world class” save against Queens Park Rangers.

Left-back Ward, who completed a 2-0 win for the Seagulls at the Amex last night, says Kuszczak has been the bedrock of the Seagulls’ challenge for the Championship play-offs.

Oscar Garcia’s team have now kept 16 clean sheets in the league this season, 14 of them with Kuszczak between the posts.

Ward told The Argus: “At 1-0 Tomasz pulled off a world class save low down to his left (from Ravel Morrison). You need your goalie to do that sometimes and he has come up trumps again.

“As a back unit we have worked really hard this year and done really well. When you have got Tomasz behind you, you know sometimes that when big saves are needed he is going to be there.

“We all put our bodies on the line for each other and it’s nice to get two goals at the other end. It made it a bit more comfortable in the last couple of minutes. In recent wins it hasn’t been.”

Harry Redknapp’s Rangers dominated the game but Leo Ulloa’s 12th goal of the season 13 minutes from time and Ward’s late strike lifted Albion to seventh, two points behind Reading and three behind Nottingham Forest with a game in hand on both.

Oscar said: "It wasn't our best performance but I am extremely proud of my players against Premier League quality opposition.

"QPR are a big club with a fantastic manager, fantastic players, but we have beaten other big teams. I am really pleased with the three points."

Comments (12)

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6:58am Wed 12 Mar 14

Eddy B says...

Too right, MOM or close to MOM both Saturday and last night. Not quite as outstanding in the first 1/2 of the season as last year but exceptional again now. The save low down from Morrison was fantastic but did anyone else notice it came from a poor kick of his? He also made at least two other saves immediately after we scored which would have been so deflating and opened Albion up to all the sitting back at 1 nil criticism again (don't think they did, QPR just threw everything at us) - other saves fairly straightish towards him but could have easily been spilled to oncoming forwards. Also made some excellent saves from long range efforts (Morrison again) in the first half.
Too right, MOM or close to MOM both Saturday and last night. Not quite as outstanding in the first 1/2 of the season as last year but exceptional again now. The save low down from Morrison was fantastic but did anyone else notice it came from a poor kick of his? He also made at least two other saves immediately after we scored which would have been so deflating and opened Albion up to all the sitting back at 1 nil criticism again (don't think they did, QPR just threw everything at us) - other saves fairly straightish towards him but could have easily been spilled to oncoming forwards. Also made some excellent saves from long range efforts (Morrison again) in the first half. Eddy B
  • Score: 7

7:39am Wed 12 Mar 14

mark by the sea says...

Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot .
The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that .
Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience.
I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them.
Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.
Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot . The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that . Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience. I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them. Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that. mark by the sea
  • Score: 19

8:32am Wed 12 Mar 14

Jonathan Mouette says...

TK is vital in our run in and will help that push for the play offs when we may have to do it all over again with 'Arry & C°. I'm really optimistic having looked at the run infor Wigan who will be playing 2 a week from now on and still have to play 4 of the current top 6. And as for Forest, well look who we have to play on the last game of the season...!!! A 6 pointer in every sense of the term.

C'mon Seagulls, get in there!!!
TK is vital in our run in and will help that push for the play offs when we may have to do it all over again with 'Arry & C°. I'm really optimistic having looked at the run infor Wigan who will be playing 2 a week from now on and still have to play 4 of the current top 6. And as for Forest, well look who we have to play on the last game of the season...!!! A 6 pointer in every sense of the term. C'mon Seagulls, get in there!!! Jonathan Mouette
  • Score: 3

8:42am Wed 12 Mar 14

Clean Sheet says...

Our back 5 have proven that they are the best in the Champ. TK is a huge part of that. Quality!
Our back 5 have proven that they are the best in the Champ. TK is a huge part of that. Quality! Clean Sheet
  • Score: 4

9:11am Wed 12 Mar 14

graham w says...

Wasn't it great to get two goals and not have that very nervous last minutes.... Uta..seagulls...I thought Ince was immense. Its a shame andrews cant match him....
Wasn't it great to get two goals and not have that very nervous last minutes.... Uta..seagulls...I thought Ince was immense. Its a shame andrews cant match him.... graham w
  • Score: 3

9:22am Wed 12 Mar 14

Ex-pat Arnie says...

mark by the sea wrote:
Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot .
The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that .
Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience.
I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them.
Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.
You're spot on about TK. Old balls flew in one direction and stayed that way, the new ones move all over the place, which is why so many keepers now opt (or are trained) to push the ball away when saving from distance.

I think my wife is resigned now to QPR not finishing in the auto places, but she's getting a little worried that they might slip out of the top 6 altogether.
[quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot . The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that . Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience. I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them. Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.[/p][/quote]You're spot on about TK. Old balls flew in one direction and stayed that way, the new ones move all over the place, which is why so many keepers now opt (or are trained) to push the ball away when saving from distance. I think my wife is resigned now to QPR not finishing in the auto places, but she's getting a little worried that they might slip out of the top 6 altogether. Ex-pat Arnie
  • Score: 5

9:32am Wed 12 Mar 14

wiseman of hove says...

TK's superb display is why you resist rotating your keeper whatever the match, unless he succumbs to injury.
TK's superb display is why you resist rotating your keeper whatever the match, unless he succumbs to injury. wiseman of hove
  • Score: 9

10:18am Wed 12 Mar 14

albionfan33 says...

of all the out of contract players he's one that needs sorting asap 2-3 year jobby if you please
of all the out of contract players he's one that needs sorting asap 2-3 year jobby if you please albionfan33
  • Score: 4

10:31am Fri 14 Mar 14

Captain Haddock says...

Eddy B wrote:
Too right, MOM or close to MOM both Saturday and last night. Not quite as outstanding in the first 1/2 of the season as last year but exceptional again now. The save low down from Morrison was fantastic but did anyone else notice it came from a poor kick of his? He also made at least two other saves immediately after we scored which would have been so deflating and opened Albion up to all the sitting back at 1 nil criticism again (don't think they did, QPR just threw everything at us) - other saves fairly straightish towards him but could have easily been spilled to oncoming forwards. Also made some excellent saves from long range efforts (Morrison again) in the first half.
That's exactly as I saw his performance, Eddy. A strong candidate for MoTM, though I disagree with Andy Naylor's notion that QPR "dominated"....had the better of it, yes, but not as dominant as all that.
[quote][p][bold]Eddy B[/bold] wrote: Too right, MOM or close to MOM both Saturday and last night. Not quite as outstanding in the first 1/2 of the season as last year but exceptional again now. The save low down from Morrison was fantastic but did anyone else notice it came from a poor kick of his? He also made at least two other saves immediately after we scored which would have been so deflating and opened Albion up to all the sitting back at 1 nil criticism again (don't think they did, QPR just threw everything at us) - other saves fairly straightish towards him but could have easily been spilled to oncoming forwards. Also made some excellent saves from long range efforts (Morrison again) in the first half.[/p][/quote]That's exactly as I saw his performance, Eddy. A strong candidate for MoTM, though I disagree with Andy Naylor's notion that QPR "dominated"....had the better of it, yes, but not as dominant as all that. Captain Haddock
  • Score: 1

10:32am Fri 14 Mar 14

Captain Haddock says...

mark by the sea wrote:
Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot .
The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that .
Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience.
I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them.
Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.
Spot on, Mark.
[quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot . The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that . Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience. I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them. Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.[/p][/quote]Spot on, Mark. Captain Haddock
  • Score: 0

10:36am Fri 14 Mar 14

Captain Haddock says...

Ex-pat Arnie wrote:
mark by the sea wrote:
Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot .
The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that .
Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience.
I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them.
Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.
You're spot on about TK. Old balls flew in one direction and stayed that way, the new ones move all over the place, which is why so many keepers now opt (or are trained) to push the ball away when saving from distance.

I think my wife is resigned now to QPR not finishing in the auto places, but she's getting a little worried that they might slip out of the top 6 altogether.
Same sentiment from R's fans on the Lewes bound train after the match. They have it all to lose now.
[quote][p][bold]Ex-pat Arnie[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]mark by the sea[/bold] wrote: Big TK is a magnificent keeper, simply the best ever, and before others mention keepers from the past, remember the ball now moves and dips almost every shot . The other thing is he stays calm , I suppose that's experience , but two saves last night were outstanding, the lad Morrison probably thought he had scored ! Fair play to him , he nodded to TK after that . Outstanding defence again, midfield were missing at times, ince again showing class way above his experience. I have to say OG got the changes right, lua lua put them on the back foot and unsettled them. Result was bit harsh on QPR ! But we have had a season of moments and days like that.[/p][/quote]You're spot on about TK. Old balls flew in one direction and stayed that way, the new ones move all over the place, which is why so many keepers now opt (or are trained) to push the ball away when saving from distance. I think my wife is resigned now to QPR not finishing in the auto places, but she's getting a little worried that they might slip out of the top 6 altogether.[/p][/quote]Same sentiment from R's fans on the Lewes bound train after the match. They have it all to lose now. Captain Haddock
  • Score: 1

10:37am Fri 14 Mar 14

Captain Haddock says...

wiseman of hove wrote:
TK's superb display is why you resist rotating your keeper whatever the match, unless he succumbs to injury.
Yup. Best chance well have for years that was. Convinced we would have taken out The Mackems too. Gutted.
[quote][p][bold]wiseman of hove[/bold] wrote: TK's superb display is why you resist rotating your keeper whatever the match, unless he succumbs to injury.[/p][/quote]Yup. Best chance well have for years that was. Convinced we would have taken out The Mackems too. Gutted. Captain Haddock
  • Score: 1

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