West Bromwich Albion midfielder Alex Mowatt has admitted how frustrating it is to see his side’s inability to take their chances, speaking to the club’s media team after last weekend’s victory against Reading.
The Baggies dominated Saturday’s match in a very one-sided affair, but only managed to score once past the Royals on the day, with Callum Robinson meeting Karlan Grant’s cross in the 62nd minute to secure all three points.
This result has taken the West Midlands outfit to within three points of AFC Bournemouth and the automatic promotion spots – but there were a few negatives to pick out from their performance in their last outing.
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Their failure to be clinical was one of them, but a general lack of quality in the final third at times in terms of chance creation too almost proved to be costly as they risked losing two points, even nearly falling behind at the end of the first half last weekend with Tom Dele-Bashiru failing to make the most of a wonderful chance.
This lack of cutting edge going forward has been problematic for the promotion chasers for much of the season, failing to turn draws into victories in number games because of this and previously fell behind the top two because of this.
West Brom supporters and EFL pundits are not the only ones frustrated with their reasonably mediocre attacking record this term, 26-year-old Mowatt revealed as he spoke ahead of Friday’s night’s away tie at former club Barnsley.
Speaking about this issue, the midfielder said: “I think Saturday’s result has been massive for us this week.
“We went through a bit of sticky spell where we were getting a lot of draws, but turning more of those draws into wins is going to be massive for us come the end of the season and we’ve got to keep doing that now.
“We could’ve won by more against Reading, but just winning the game was huge for us.
“You do get frustrated at times when it’s taking a lot of chances to score, almost every player on the pitch had a chance last weekend. But the most important thing is winning games and that’s all that matters to us at the moment.”
This is a problem they need to solve. Not only are they not taking the chances they have, but the quality of their chances in some games haven’t been good enough, and this is why a creator may also be needed alongside a main goalscorer in the January window.
Between Karlan Grant, Callum Robinson, Grady Diangana, Jordan Hugill and Matt Phillips, there should arguably be enough goals in that team already, with Mowatt likely to chip in and the likes of Kyle Bartley and Matt Clarke always likely to be a threat from set-pieces.
However, they can no longer rely on the sextet alone to fire them to promotion, especially with Hugill not firing at this stage and the 29-year-old potentially in line to be recalled when next month comes around.
The style of play can also be questioned for their lack of attacking threat, but considering he’s managed to guide the Baggies to third, he arguably deserves the chance to stamp his authority on the squad once more when the upcoming window opens.
Now is the time for the club’s board to put their hand in their pocket, because not only do they require a striker and a creator, but other areas including central midfield may also need to be addressed depending on departures and injuries.
Despite this negativity, they do have positives they can build on. Taylor Gardner-Hickman is one – and the fact Jake Livermore and Adam Reach filled in well at centre-back is a promising sign. They now need to capitalise on their current winning run.