Darren Moore: West Brom are big-game performers
Darren Moore has told his Albion side that they have already risen to big occasions this season ahead of tomorrow’s derby.
Dean Smith’s new-look Villa arrive at The Hawthorns in red-hot form, having won four out of five and scoring 17 goals in the process.
But the Baggies are in fine fettle themselves after picking up 10 points from a possible 12.
And Moore has pointed to big performances from his team in the build-up to one of the most hotly-contested matches of the season.
Albion have one of the best home records in the division, and have struck four past both Norwich and Leeds, the division’s current top two.
“Over the course of the season we have risen to occasions like this,” he said. “While we’ve got to be professional, we understand it’s a derby, we understand the clubs are three or four miles apart.
"Players know each other well, management teams know each other well, and there’s a rivalry between fans, it all bodes well for a great game.”
Villa have found their groove in recent weeks, but Moore did not agree that this was Albion’s biggest test of the season.
“I think it would be wrong for me to say that, because there are other teams in the league,” he said.
“I understand why you might say that, but there are some fantastic teams in this division that play exciting football.”
Earlier this week, Moore and the Baggies board had lunch with Guochuan Lai and delivered a progress report to the Albion owner before discussing the January transfer window.
“He’s very happy in terms of how things are going,” said Moore. “The January window is an interesting one for us, if we can do business and strengthen then the window presents that opportunity to do so.
“We’ve got some really important fixtures before then, we’ll focus on them and keep our competitiveness going before the turn of the year.”
Albion’s owners picked Moore over Smith in the summer after his fantastic audition as caretaker boss, and they told the Baggies boss they were happy with progress.
“He said he was very pleased in where we are at as a football club and how things are going,” said Moore.
“He was here on Monday night [for the Brentford game]. I’m pleased he witnessed a display like that, with power, speed, and creativity.
“I would have liked to send him back with the three points but the important thing for him was witnessing the performance first hand, because it’s different to the TV.”