Sam Allardyce: Next two games could determine West Brom’s fate

Furious West Brom boss Sam Allardyce has demanded instant improvement from the fragile Baggies after locking his squad in the dressing room.

Albion were thumped 5-0 by Manchester City on Tuesday and have conceded 22 goals in their last five home games.

Allardyce has overseen four of those – shipping 17 goals without scoring – and held a one-hour post-match inquest after their latest defeat.

They remain in the drop zone, six points from safety, ahead of Wednesday’s games and face Fulham and Sheffield United – the other clubs in the bottom three – in their next two matches.

Allardyce said: “We have 18 games to go – I know it’s a difficult task but we have to get a minimum of 27 points. That’s our minimum to stay safe. We have to take it one game at a time.

“What will determine our fate comes the next two games. If we win those we are going to get further up the table and nearer the teams who are close to us.

“That would ease the pressure off us and put it on them.”

Albion want Galatasary striker Mbaye Diagne but Allardyce has struggled to convince signings to join given their struggles.

“Getting the players in the position we’re in is a difficult one. You have to find someone with the quality and the fight you want in the position we are,” he said.

“That’s a difficult task. Would Tuesday night’s result make it more difficult? If they were watching, maybe, but we need to try to improve the team with at least two more players.

“I thought we were going in the right direction but this massive jinx has popped up where we can’t win at The Hawthorns, we can’t seem to perform that great – let alone win.

“I need to solve that by Saturday because I need to get a result against Fulham.”

City ran riot in the first half with two goals from Ilkay Gundogan and strikes from Joao Cancelo and Riyad Mahrez.

Raheem Sterling made it 5-0 after the break as Pep Guardiola’s side moved top of the Premier League.

Gundogan told the club’s official site: “We all try our best, it doesn’t matter who is playing. Obviously, we had a few players over the last couple of weeks in different conditions missing due to Covid and injuries.

“Kevin (De Bruyne) is a big miss for us for the next few games but we will have players who will get more game time now over the next few games, we need everyone to be involved.

“Everyone gives us different qualities and a different boost. We need to keep going.”