West Bromwich Albion captain Curtis Davies has laughed off reports suggesting that there is a state of disharmony within the dressing room at The Hawthorns.
The Baggies certainly did not look a divided outfit at Barnsley yesterday as they ended a run of four away defeats by coming away from ice-cold Oakwell with a 1-1 draw.
But, in the wake of media speculation about his rapport with manager Tony Mowbray, Davies insisted that the only chill factor was the South Yorkshire weather, admitting: "I don't know where some of these stories have come from.
"I've had texts telling me we're supposed to have had a bust-up, which is ridiculous because I've never had any cross words with the gaffer.
"People are going to try to cause unrest in our squad because they can see we've sort of fallen away. That's the way it is when you're one of the top dogs. Everyone wants you to fall down.
"At the moment, we're not showing top-dog status. Maybe we are with our form , but not results-wise.
"But we're confident enough in each others' ability to know we can improve.
"I guess if we weren't creating, we would be worried, but we have to start putting our chances away.
"You don't get anything just for keeping the ball. You've got to stick it in the back of the net."
Davies also admits his team could do with a little bit of the sort of luck that triggered Birmingham City's rise to the top of the Championship table — the Baggies' main rivals are now ten points ahead of them.
"We know we need to be more consistent," said the Albion skipper. "But we also need to be lucky, like some of the other teams.
"We haven't had the rub of the green at all but some of the other teams up there, like Derby and Birmingham, have been having all the breaks that are going, with some lucky goals."
In an unbelievably tight division, yesterday's draw was still enough to lift Albion to ninth place, within seven points of an automatic promotion position. But Baggies boss Mowbray admitted with a rueful sigh: "We could actually have gone up six places if we'd won and that tells us what this league is all about.
"There was only one team going to win it in the second half and we had enough chances to do that.
"But we didn't lose, we finished strongly and should have won it and those are the positives to take.
"But, although I know it's a very tight league and a lot of other teams are coming up with the same story, we've got to find some consistency if we're going to start getting the wins we need on a regular basis."
"When we get the balance of the squad right, the talent's there but we just need to add in one or two ingredients for days like today."
Albion's two dropped points also came at a cost, following a groin injury to centre-half Paul McShane that must make him a doubt for next week's local derby date at The Hawthorns with Coventry City.
"Paul's taken a bit of a knock to his groin," said Mowbray ."He's a bit of a warrior and he didn't want to come off, but I didn't want to endanger him being out for a longer period."
With Chris Perry to return after suspension, that is not an insurmountable problem and captain Davies admitted: "I'm confident we can beat Coventry and, with all due respect to them, we should.
"Our home form has not been a problem. It's just about the away games and, once we get that right, we should be fine.
"I suppose we should be happy with the draw, but we're never going to be satisfied with that.
"We should be able to come to places like this and win but we go and give away a silly goal when, given the way we had played, we should have been pleased to go one-up then just see it out to half-time."
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