Sam Allardyce: West Brom have to seize our chances

Sam Allardyce says a lack of goals is the only reason Albion remain rooted in the relegation zone – with the team otherwise good enough to be in the Premier League.

Sam Allardyce head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)
Sam Allardyce head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

The Baggies travel to take on Chelsea tomorrow sitting 10 points behind 17th-placed Newcastle with a vastly inferior goal difference.

But while the table paints a bleak picture, it is also true that Albion have improved significantly over the past few months.

The arrivals of Robert Snodgrass, Mbaye Diagne, Okay Yokuslu and Ainsely Maitlaind-Niles have allowed Allardyce to settle on a 4-3-3 formation.

And it has led to impressive performances against the likes of Manchester United, Burnley, Bright, Everton, Newcastle and Crystal Palace.

The problem is Albion have scored just twice in those seven games.

And it is that lack of fire power that means they are now likely to have to win six of their last nine games to have any chance of staying up.

“The goal ratio of all the players is far too low,” Allardyce said.

“This is not a criticism of Mbaye, but we needed the goal ratio to go up.

“He has been magnificent apart from the fact his goal return should be five or six – not one.

“He’s had three disallowed. Two or three he’s missed that we would have hoped he would have scored.

“But around him the other players haven’t chipped in with enough goals either.

“That has been the issue because everything else is there.

“Our performances, our chances created, our final third opportunities, our defensive solidarity are all good enough to stay in the Premier League.

“The one thing that is not good enough is our conversion rate of the chances we have created.

“That is why we are where we are.”

Allardyce says he has read and heard reports saying Albion’s poor goal return is due to a lack of creativity.

But he says that is not true.

“We are trying to stay in the Premier League and pull off and repeat what’s been done before,” Allardyce continued.

“I have managed to do it at other clubs. At Sunderland and Palace I won six out of eight or five out of six.

“It can be done if the players want to have a real go now.

“But we have to start off with that solid base and then start taking our chances.

“Our chance ratio and creation ratio has massively improved.

“Our final third entries have gone up massively in the last 10 games or so.

“We’ve increased our opportunities inside the opposition’s box.

“People have said outside of it, I have listened to them, they say we don’t create enough chances.

“Well, they are totally and utterly wrong. Yes we do. But we don’t hit the target and we don’t score.

“We’re not negative in the way we approach the game, we’ve increased our entries into the opposition’s box and crosses into the box massively.

“But because we haven’t put the ball in the back of the net or made the keeper make a good save – people deem it that we are playing a negative game and we are not.

“We are playing a very competitive game, both defensively and from an attacking point of view.

“Apart from goals scored both those areas have increased by 35/40 per cent at the very least over the last 10 games.”

Albion will take on a Chelsea side tomorrow who are yet to lose under Thomas Tuchel.

And Allardyce admits you can’t help but be impressed with the job the German has done at Stamford Bridge.

“He’s been fantastic, he’s done the right thing – those of us who know the game inside out – he’s started with clean sheets,” the 66-year-old said.

“You build from there. That’s not to say they’re not entertaining, because of the quality of player they’ve got at the other end they are. I’m jealous.

“But it’s very difficult to break down that defensive unit that they’ve got.”

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