West Brom’s survival rivals will be paying close attention as their polished display and emphatic victory over Southampton ensured they have knitted two Premier League victories together for the first time this season.
It was an apt follow up to the rout at Chelsea nine days earlier, and though this past week – following Newcastle United’s win at Burnley – hasn’t allowed them to reduce the gap to 17th any further, the manner of their performances and the results to match will keep Steve Bruce’s Magpies and Scott Parker’s Fulham looking over their shoulders, boss Sam Allardyce claims.
“They are two wins that are pricking people’s ears up – people are saying ‘look how good West Brom have got,’” the Albion boss reasoned. “Look at what players they have got, look at the football they are playing, look at the finishing they are producing now.
“Based on the fall of the fixtures, if we had played Southampton on Friday night and beaten them 3-0, that would have put added pressure on. The pressure came on us because Newcastle won.
“After beating Chelsea last weekend, you can understand why Newcastle winning could knock the players. They could be thinking we have to go again just to get it down to eight.
“We have got it down to eight again but games are running out.”
It was a vintage performance indeed, the kind that almost saddened you as you looked around The Hawthorns at the thousands of emptied seats which ought to have had the bums of entertained Baggies sat on them.
The bigger picture is that eight goals and six points in the space of two matches is a remarkable return indeed considering the form which went before this glut and it forever has Allardyce wondering what might’ve been had his side turned on the goals tap sooner.
“It’s one of many top-quality performances over the last eight or 10 games,” he analysed. “Before that, because we hadn’t won the games we should have won, we didn’t get the congratulations we have got from the last two games because we have won 5-2 at Chelsea with a brilliant, outstanding, performances and we have now won 3-0 against Southampton.
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“Again it was another outstanding performances. We have had many outstanding performances but too many times there hasn’t been three points at the end of it. At least it’s two wins, back-to-back wins and two very good performances.
“We have to now keep that up in the next game and the next game. Unfortunately for us, we have to rely on other people losing as well as us winning.
“All we can do is win the next game and then keep our fingers crossed those teams above us don’t win. We have to see how many points we can get.”