Sam Johnstone: West Brom must stick together to be successful
Sam Johnstone says Albion’s strong team spirit and togetherness will stand them in good stead for their crucial clashes against Huddersfield and QPR.
The Baggies are just two wins away from securing a return to the Premier League, with their fate set to be decided in the coming days.
Slaven Bilic’s men travel to take on a Huddersfield side still battling to avoid relegation tomorrow.
They then host a QPR outfit who are rooted in mid-table on Wednesday.
With so much at stake, Albion will enter both games under pressure.
But Johnstone believes the team’s togetherness will see them through.
“We have got two games to go and it’s in our hands,” the keeper said.
“We have got a great team and a great staff.
“We just need to stick together for the next seven or eight days.
“Football gives you ups and downs, but I think the important thing is that we are playing well and creating chances.
“Now we just have to keep going, make sure we hit the back of the net and get the six points we need to clinch promotion.
“That’s what we’ve worked towards all season and now we have the chance to complete our mission.”
If Albion do win promotion, Johnstone will have been integral to their success.
The keeper has made some fantastic saves when called upon, while the goalless draw against Fulham saw him register his 14th clean sheet of the campaign.
At this stage the season, though, points are the only thing that are on Johnstone’s mind.
“We do put a shift in, we defend as a team and hopefully that will be enough to see us go on and win promotion,” he continued.
“A clean sheet is always good – it gives you something to work off.
“And worst case scenario you draw the game with a clean sheet.
“But to be honest, I’d take three points over those clean sheets at this stage of the season. It’s in our hands and we’ve now got to go and finish the job.”
Meanwhile, Swansea, Blackburn and Bristol City are all keeping tabs on back-up goalkeeper Jonathan Bond, according to reports.
The shot-stopper has featured just seven times for the Baggies – with all those appearances coming in cup competitions – since joining the club from Reading in 2018.
Out of contract at the end of the campaign, it is not yet known if Albion plan to offer him fresh terms or if Bond is keen to leave for first-team football.
If Albion do go on to win promotion, it is likely they will sign a new goalkeeper to compete with Johnstone for the number one jersey – further limiting Bond’s chances of playing.
Promising glovesman Alex Palmer – who signed a new three-year deal with Albion earlier this month – will also hope to compete for a place in the bench next season following a hugely successful loan spell at Plymouth.
Youngster Josh Griffiths us another keeper Albion have high hopes for.