Soccer-Strugglers West Brom lacking natural goal-scorer, says Allardyce

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Premier League - Crystal Palace v West Bromwich Albion

(Reuters) - West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce said his team needs a "natural goal-scorer" to solve their attacking problems after Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Crystal Palace dented their hopes of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

West Brom conceded a penalty from Palace captain Luka Milivojevic to suffer their 17th loss of the season which left them second-bottom on 18 points, eight adrift of the safety zone.

Allardyce's side created several chances at Selhurst Park but had only one shot on target from a total of 12, while Palace had four of their six shots on target.

"(I was) left frustrated for the players' efforts not being rewarded and that's a consistent analysis from me," Allardyce said. "It was our lack of finishing in the end.

"Everybody will have a say or a talk or a chat about it, but at the end of the day, you need a natural goal-scorer. When you have one, he finds the way to be in the right areas and he doesn't need more than one opportunity to score.

"There's 27 points available and 20 needed. We can only really afford to drop seven points. It's a massive mountain to climb for us. Everybody knows that."

Meanwhile, Palace edged towards top-flight safety after the win lifted them two places up to 11th on 37 points, 11 above the relegation zone. But manager Roy Hodgson said it was still early to be certain, with nine games left to play.

"Every manager in this league would fear the words 'complacency' or 'safe'," Hodgson said.

"We are not safe. We will only be safe when the number of points we have in front is greater than the number of games we have left and points to gain from them."

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)