Venus challenges West Brom to avoid FA Cup banana skin
West Brom assistant manager Mark Venus has challenged his players not to become the latest victims of a cup giant-killing at the hands of Burnley.
Albion face a testing FA Cup fourth-round replay at Turf Moor tonight well aware that Owen Coyle's Burnley side have built a reputation this season for pulling off upsets against Barclays Premier League opposition.
They reached the semi-finals of the Carling Cup - beating Fulham, Chelsea and Arsenal on the way - before going out in heart-breaking fashion after extra time against Tottenham.
Venus said: "Everyone has seen Burnley play this season with their run in the Carling Cup and their league form.
"They are a nice footballing team. They have some good footballers and the manager has a momentum going for his team.They work very hard for each other.
"Burnley play the type of football which enables them to hold their own against the better teams. Hopefully it will be a good game of football with both teams attempting to pass the ball around.
"No-one can take them lightly in any respect. They came back very strongly against us in the first match to grab a late equaliser and earn a replay.
"Their squad has been tested to the full and deserve to do well but I don't think they will have an edge on us in the replay."
Albion's on-loan Arsenal striker Jay Simpson is poised to play a major role in the outcome. Simpson scored his first West Brom goal in the previous round against Peterborough and then notched the first Premier League goal of his career in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Hull.
"The boys in the team, as well as the staff, have really helped me settle," revealed Simpson. "The fans have been great to me as well. Everyone has made me feel welcome.
"As the weeks go on I am feeling more comfortable around the place and I think that my performances have shown that I am starting to become more relaxed.
"I think Premier League experience can only make me a better player. When I came here I had not really played many games this season so I was lacking in fitness. But I now feel that my fitness is getting there and there are a lot of games coming up and hopefully I can stay involved."
Albion, who have 12 players on their injury list, are unlikely to risk midfielders Borja Valero (hamstring) and Robert Koren (calf) ahead of their crucial Premier League clash against Newcastle at The Hawthorns on Sunday.
Midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu, who has joined on loan for the rest of season from Paris St Germain, and Argentinian winger Juan Carlos Menseguez, who has arrived on the same basis from San Lorenzo, are both ineligible.