Pardew insists that West Brom fitness is not an issue

Date published: Tuesday 12th December 2017 3:53

West Brom boss Alan Pardew insists Albion must be more streetwise if they are to avoid setting an unwanted club record.

If the Baggies fail to win at Liverpool on Wednesday it would stretch their winless run to 16 games in all competitions, the longest in their 139-year history.

Albion are only above the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Swansea.

They have not won since August and have conceded seven goals in the final 16 minutes of games to lose 12 points this season.

Pardew said: “There’s an immediate problem of game understanding, how to get something out of a game, see it through. Our stats suggest that’s a problem we need to address.

“There were some areas of the performance I expected when I came in. Certainly there’s a resilience and a fight in the dressing room.

“It’s just about getting confidence and quality on the pitch.

“There were areas at Swansea where we got ourselves in a great position to exploit the game, and we’ve got to understand that. We’d earned that right but we didn’t take it.

“Of course we get loads of data, you can’t imagine how much. One thing which strikes me is we’re the seventh strongest running team in last 30 minutes – that suggests to me it’s not fitness.

“It’s concentration and confidence and sometimes late goals putting us on edge.”

Nacer Chadli (hip), James Morrison (Achilles), and Gareth Barry (thigh) are out and Matt Phillips (hamstring) is a doubt while Craig Dawson (knee) is back in training and could return at Liverpool.

Pardew added: “If you’re a manager and (Emre) Can, (Georginio) Wijnaldum and (Daniel) Sturridge can’t even get in the team you are in a decent position, offensively.

“I don’t think anyone would argue against that as Liverpool’s strength, with the ball. But they do have weaknesses and it is whether you can exploit them. That is what we will try to do.”


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