Express & Star

Steve Bruce: West Brom conversion rate must improve

Manager Steve Bruce reiterated Albion must improve their conversation rate after watching his side play out a 1-1 draw with Crewe.


There has been a running theme throughout the Baggies pre-season with the team creating numerous chances against the likes of Leyton Orient, Stevenage, Northampton and Crewe.

But their conversation rate has been way below par - with that the case again at Gresty Road.

John Swift, Semi Ajayi and Conor Townsend all had decent opportunities to open the scoring for Albion in the first half.

Bruce's men did take the lead shortly after the interval when Swift turned home an excellent cross from Jed Wallace.

But Crewe grew in stature as the game wore on. And they got themselves level when former Walsall striker Dan Agyei produced a brilliant finish after finding himself through on goal

"It's every game, it's been the same," Bruce said.

"It's not a concern just yet because we haven't started. But we have to improve.

"In this run of games, we have dominated. We should do, don't get me wrong.

"But we've missed big chances, big chances. Even when we've been offside we've missed!

"And we've also given three or four really poor goals away.

"We have to do better than that, but it's the conversation rate that's the real issue."

While Bruce wasn't happy with his side's conversation rate, he did see positives in Cheshire.

"In the first half I thought we were excellent in the way that we moved the ball," he continued.

"It was a hot day, if anything, we became a bit bored with it.

"It's a friendly, the sun is shining, a team putting 10 players behind the ball, it wasn't much of a spectacle in the second half.

"I've said many times now for weeks, it's all for the build-up for two weeks today.

"The first half in particular gave me little glimpses.

"The one area that we've got to improve is to score.

"We can't keep thinking we're going to get the chances that we had today and that we've had in the other games.

"Our conversation strike rate has got to be better, we've got to improve in that area and I'm talking about everyone.

"It was 80 per cent possession but we only scored once, they had a breakaway and scored. That's the way football is."