Sam Allardyce: West Brom have to shut the back door and bolt it

Nick Mashiter, PA
·2-min read

Boss Sam Allardyce admits leaky West Brom must learn to shut up shop to boost their slim hopes of beating the drop.

Albion welcome Manchester United on Sunday sitting second bottom of the Premier League.

They have won just once in 11 games under Allardyce and have continued to slip off the survival race pace.

The Baggies have conceded 54 goals this season – the worst in the top flight – and Allardyce knows their defensive record must improve quickly.

“It’s always been my first port of call, for the players to look at the realisation if you concede this many goals what the outcome will be,” he said.

“Unfortunately we haven’t been able to rectify it yet and we have to. I have tried different players and different systems – not because I wanted to because I wanted to find a consistent team to pick.

“Particularly defensively, not just the goalkeeper and the back four, but the whole team fails at some stage to keep the ball out of the net.

“It’s about realising the opposition are in the ascendancy and we have to shut the back door, bolt up and make life extremely difficult for them.

“That’s where we need to get to and we need to get there as quickly as possible.”

Allardyce made four signings in January to boost Albion’s survival hopes, with Mbaye Diagne joining on loan from Galatasaray and Okay Yokuslu also moving from Celta Vigo.

Robert Snodgrass joined from West Ham and Ainsley Maitland-Niles moved from Arsenal on loan but Allardyce knows it is a tall order to expect them all to deliver immediately.

He said: “We will wait and see. The two lads here (Diagne and Yokuslu) you don’t know exactly how it’ll work out because they’ve come from Europe. It’s a massive ask to deliver.

“The CV tells you they are good players but the transition in January from where they’ve come from into the Premier League is a difficult task.

“We hope they come good almost immediately. Okay is just finding his feet and will find out what the Premier League is about.

“Hopefully he can adjust very quickly. Ainsley is finding his feet and Snods can provide a lot of quality crosses. He is very vocal in terms of trying to keep the team motivated which is very important with the position we’re in.

“We’re trying to keep our heads above water, remain focused and confident.”