Sam Allardyce knows what West Brom have to do to avoid relegation

George Sessions, PA
·3-min read

Sam Allardyce believes West Brom need to win six of their remaining nine fixtures to avoid relegation back to the Sky Bet Championship.

The Baggies boss masterminded a trademark survival mission at Crystal Palace in the 2016-17 campaign, but looks unlikely to repeat the trick with his current team after losing 1-0 at Selhurst Park on Saturday.

West Brom went down to Luka Milivojevic’s 37th-minute penalty and their 20th Premier League loss of the season left them eight points adrift with only nine games left.

“If we win six out of nine, yeah (we can stay up),” Allardyce insisted.

Luka Milivojevic scores the winner for Palace
Luka Milivojevic scored the winner for Palace (Andy Rain/PA)

“The closer it gets to the end and the point gap being bigger, the more the players can actually give it a go and release themselves maybe a bit more.

“And hopefully in front of goal be a bit better at finishing, but I really haven’t got too much criticism over their consistent level of performance, the type of football we’re playing and the well organised and well-disciplined defending.”

Wilfried Zaha, who pre-match became the first Premier League player not to take the knee, won the spot-kick when his cross hit the arm of West Brom defender Darnell Furlong.

After VAR had to check to see if the Palace attacker was onside, referee Simon Hooper was asked to use the pitchside monitor before he eventually awarded the penalty.

Mbaye Diagne tries to hook the ball goalwards
West Brom had chances again (Andy Rain/PA)

It was harsh on the Baggies who had enjoyed the better of the play, but they struggled to create clear-cut opportunities in south London.

Allardyce added: “Same as the last eight or nine games where we are faltering in front of goal again and because we have faltered in front of goal, not only is it one point, we didn’t get any points.

“Obviously we gave away a silly penalty which we can ill-afford to do based on our ratio of goals scored per game.

“It is a great shame because our chances created in the opposition box was there, but our finishing again wasn’t up to scratch.”

Palace’s victory moved them up to 11th and on to 37 points, which has been enough to seal survival in each of the last four seasons.

Roy Hodgson won the battle of the former England managers, but is not getting carried away ahead of a three-week break for his side.

The 73-year-old said: “We are looking for more points, of course we are. Do we think we are safe? No because to be safe you need more points than the games remaining so we certainly won’t be thinking we are safe.

“We are a lot safer thanks to this victory. Defeat would have had us looking over our shoulder a lot more, but nine games is a lot of games.

“Last season we went into that lockdown period and we couldn’t handle three games a week with the injuries we had and I had the worst run of my football management career. We are aware we don’t want that to happen again.”