West Bromwich Albion played out a goalless draw with Nottingham Forest on Friday evening with frustration from the stands clear to all at the final whistle.
The Baggies are winless in their last four and could end the weekend ten points off of the automatic promotion places. It is not time to panic at The Hawthorns but the way that Fulham and Bournemouth are leaving them behind is clearly a concern for the home faithful.
West Brom took two seasons, including one failed play-off campaign, to win promotion back to the top-flight when they last suffered relegation. For a similar course of action to play out would not be a disaster with the club having three years of parachute payments to acclimatise to the division.
Valerien Ismael was appointed off the back of his scintillating Barnsley side finishing fifth in the Championship last season, but his methods are coming into question with the Baggies to slip into a play-off race rather than the automatic promotion one.
Here, we have taken a look at three things we clearly learnt about West Brom after their 0-0 draw with Nottingham Forest…
Unlucky not to earn man of the match, Clarke was a colossal figure at the heart of defence and ensured the Baggies stayed in the game after Jayson Molumby’s red card made things a lot tougher.
With Joe Lolley, Alex Mighten, and Brennan Johnson all asking questions of the backline they stood up to the test and Clarke was the standout in the rearguard.
Automatic promotion over?
Ten points is a lot of ground to make up as we approach the halfway mark in the Championship. Particularly with how West Brom are playing at the moment, it looks a tall order.
It feels like clubs have become wise to their ways and the Baggies are too reliant on moments of individual brilliance that Karlan Grant has often supplied to dig them out of trouble.
Quiz: 30 questions about West Brom’s best strikers from the last 5 years – Can you score 30/30?
The confidence has clearly taken a huge hit, no more obviously so than when late substitute Jordan Hugill had the game at his mercy late on. Matt Clarke provided an excellent shot assist giving Hugill time to take a touch and test Brice Samba from inside the 18-yard box.
The former Preston North End man rushed his effort that went sailing over the bar, rather summing up West Brom’s attacking efforts in recent weeks.