West Brom boss Sam Allardyce demands big follow up to Chelsea win

Sam Allardyce will tell Albion’s players not to waste their outstanding performance against Chelsea when they host Southampton on Monday.

West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce
West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce

The Baggies’ faint hopes of staying in the Premier League were boosted with an emphatic 5-2 win at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.

With both Fulham and Newcastle failing to win over the weekend, Albion saw the gap to safety cut from 10 points to eight.

Now, though, they have to wait until Monday to play again, with Fulham hosting Wolves on Friday and Newcastle travelling to take on Burnley on Sunday.

But whatever happens in those games, Allardyce has challenged his players to register back-to-back wins – something they haven’t yet done this season. “Points are available and managers have done it before, I have done it before,” the 66-year-old said when asked if he believes the Baggies can survive. It’s going to be a hard task because we haven’t got many games left. But one of the good things is that none of the others (Fulham and Newcastle) won above us.

“We gained a point or two to make it a little bit closer.

“We have to wait because we are playing on Monday.

“What will the others do before we play?

“Will they lose points again and will that give us more of boost to beat Southampton? Who knows?

“But we can now look forward to the game with confidence.

“Can we win back-to-back games for the first time? That is probably one of the things I will say to the players before Southampton on Monday. Don’t waste the performance at Chelsea by failing today.”

Key to Albion’s win at Stamford Bridge was how they pressed Chelsea.

And Allardyce revealed that is something they worked on – with the Baggies keen to put goalkeeper Edouard Mendy under pressure.

“We felt giving up possession and letting them play out from the goalkeeper would be a mistake,” the 66-year-old said. “That is why we played two split up front with Matheus Pereira and Mbaye (Diagne).

“The press worked very, very, well.

“There is something with their goalkeeper who can be rash. He can rush out.

“If you saw the first goal we scored, he came dashing to the edge of his box and didn’t get anywhere near.

“We felt every time it went back to the goalie we’d put him under pressure.

“That gave us good opportunities.

“But the quality of our finishing is something I have been looking for for a long time.

“Our poor finishing has cost us many points. But on Saturday it was absolutely spot on.”

Phillips looks to build – See Page 45

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