Di Matteo - Thumping will help
Baggies strengthened by midfielder's return
By Hayley Paterson. Last Updated: September 18, 2010 12:48pm
Di Matteo: Quick learner
Roberto Di Matteo is convinced the pain of the 6-0 drubbing at the hands of Chelsea can drive West Brom to survival this season.
The Baggies are renowned for their ability to 'yo-yo' between the Premier League and Championship, however, this time around Di Matteo is confident his side can overturn those mixed fortunes and cement their place in the top flight.
And following their first game stuffing against the Premier League champions, the Italian said the "slap in the face" has resonated with his players and taught them to learn quickly about performing well in the Premier League.
"Preferably, I could have done without that kind of experience," said the former Chelsea midfielder.
"It was a slap in the face. It was 'Hello guys, you are in the Premier League now and we are the top team'.
"It was an indication we have to learn fast at this level. The good thing is that we have not been crushed by that defeat.
"We have bounced back with some good performances and have got better with each game.
"That is very encouraging. I have seen a reaction and that shows the team spirit we have.
"It is something we have to keep building on."
And the reaction has been promising for Di Matteo who, since the thumping at Stamford Bridge, has seen his side beat Sunderland at home, lose 1-0 to Liverpool and draw with Tottenham.
Their next Premier League clash is the first of several Midlands derbies as the Albion entertain Birmingham who are unbeaten from their opening four games of the season.
Di Matteo's squad will be strengthened by the return of Graham Dorrans who missed last weekend's 1-1 draw with Spurs because of a family bereavement.