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Feb 4, 2013

Reid reveals Popov apology

West Brom defender Steven Reid has revealed that team-mate Goran Popov apologised after being sent off for spitting during the 1-0 defeat against Tottenham on Sunday.

• Blog: Moment of madness costs

Reid confirmed that the Macedonia international used a team-mate's Twitter account - as he does not have one of his own - to say sorry for the incident that crucially left his team a man down for the final 42 minutes at The Hawthorns.

But while Popov has apologised, the Ireland international is in no doubt that the flashpoint incident involving Kyle Walker was a major factor in Albion's defeat.

"At the start of the second half, we shot ourselves in the foot and we were up against it with ten men against a team with the pace and power of Tottenham," he said. "In recent weeks, we've been shooting ourselves in the foot by going one and two down which makes it difficult. Again, at the start of the second half, Goran's let us down with the red card.

"He's obviously given the referee the opportunity to show the red card which is disappointing. It's just a moment of madness and it happens in football. When you go down to ten men against a team with the quality of Tottenham, it's always going to be difficult. The pace they have from the likes of Bale and Lennon, it was going to be a tough game after that."

The Popov dismissal, which will rule the player out of away games at Liverpool and Chelsea, as well as a home clash in between against Sunderland, came at the end of a week in which Albion were embroiled in the controversy of Peter Odemwingie's failed transfer to Queens Park Rangers.

Head coach Steve Clarke is also checking TV footage after failing to spot a second-half exchange between Jonas Olsson and home fans at the Smethwick End on Sunday. Clarke was left in no doubt about the incident involving Popov, however.

"We make a big thing here about players supporting their team-mates and Goran didn't do that," he said. "He's let himself down, his team-mates down and his club down."

Meanwhile, Reid, recently back from a broken leg, still believes Albion can salvage the rich promise they showed in the first half of the season.

"We've now got to regroup and go again," he said. "I don't think we need to dwell on the defeat. It's disappointing but there are plenty of positives from the game, especially in the first half, and we've showed glimpses of the early-season form.

"We need to give ourselves a better opportunity to stay in the game. We're confident in the dressing room with the performance and I think in the first half we were outstanding and we dealt with everything they threw at us and we had a few chances ourselves. We went with 4-4-2, we went positive and I thought we looked dangerous in the first half."

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