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Chris Brunt admits underperforming West Brom struggled with Darren Moore's tactics

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Chris Brunt says it was sometimes difficult to carry out Darren Moore's tactical instructions this season – but admitted Albion players had to shoulder some responsibility too.

Chris Brunt. (AMA)

In an honest interview summing up the season so far, Brunt said Albion had been underperforming considering the players they have in the dressing room.

The club captain pointed out how difficult it is to find the right tactical balance.

But he admitted Moore and his coaching staff asked Albion to play it out from the back too much.

"It might not be to everybody's liking what the coaching staff tried to do this season, and sometimes it was difficult as a player playing under it but that's football," he said.

"Every coach and manager is different, they've all got their own ideas. As a player you have to try and adapt to it as best you can.

"At the end of the day, our form, especially since the turn of the year, hasn't been good enough.

"As players we have to take a lot of responsibility for that because we haven't been getting results on the pitch.

"It's never nice seeing anyone lose their job in any walk of life, especially Darren, he's a bit of a cult hero for the club.

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"When he took over at the back end of last season, he steadied the ship and did a good job, he almost pulled off the impossible.

"But looking at the squad of players we've got this season in this league, I think everybody's disappointed we're so far off the top two at this moment in time.

"We're not a million miles off it but we should be doing better with the players we've got."

Moore and his coaching staff asked Albion to play out from the back this season and during the first half of the campaign, Brunt was used as the deep-lying central midfield pivot who went and received the ball.

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However, the approach hasn't always worked, and fans grew frustrated over the course of the season when balls were given away in Albion's own half.

"Sometimes it has (worked), sometimes it hasn't," said Brunt. "It's difficult for me to sit here and point fingers.

"You can obviously see the unrest in the stands when it doesn't work out. When people give the ball away it's frustrating, and it's frustrating for us as well as players.

"Over the last few years the style of football we played was completely different because we were trying to survive in the Premier League.

"A lot was made of the style of football when Tony (Pulis) left, Alan (Pardew) came in and tried to change it.

"Trying to find that balance is a lot more difficult than people think. I think we went too far the other way this year, trying to play it out from the back a lot.

"To be honest, a lot of teams in this league try and do that. It seems to be a bit of a culture change this season.

"But at the end of the day, if you come home on a Saturday afternoon, be it fan, player, coach, if you've won the game nobody really cares.

"In golf they say there's no pictures on a scorecard. That's a similar thing for us at this stage of the season.

"With 10 games to go we need as many points as possible to try and push the top two.

"It'll be a massive ask, things have to go in our favour.

"The most we've won on the bounce this season is three, that's just not acceptable.

"You've seen teams go on runs of five or six wins, 15 games unbeaten.

"We need something like that now to get an automatic place, if not we need momentum to get into the play-offs.

"At the moment we don't have that, we're very inconsistent."

Moore was sacked on Saturday night, roughly an hour after a 1-1 draw with rock-bottom Ipswich Town.

"Saturday wasn't a great performance," admitted Brunt. "You try and win games whatever way possible.

"We tried a couple of different formations and it didn't work. Fair play to Ipswich, they made it difficult for us, a lot of teams have done that since the turn of the year.

"As a squad and a staff, trying to get ideas across to break things down, it just wasn't happening.

"It's disappointing, at the end of the day we're paid to play football and win matches and it wasn't happening.

"At the end of the day it's 11v11, on our team-sheet we had enough to win the game.

"Whether it's down to people not understanding tactical information or not performing at home, I don't know, it's hard to put your finger on it.

"Especially at home, we've conceded a lot of goals first. I know we didn't do that at the weekend but our goal took a massive deflection and was a bit lucky to be honest.

"The rest of the game was pretty even, which isn't good enough for us. At home, we need to be dictating games and setting the tempo.

"We've got more than enough in our dressing room to give the home fans something to shout about. Too many times this season, especially at home, we haven't done that."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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