West Brom defender Darnell Furlong says that Leeds United’s drop out of the automatic promotion places in the second half of last season should serve as a warning to the Baggies, as they look to secure a return to the Premier League in the coming months.
Leeds had led the Championship at Christmas last season and looked to be well on their way to a return to the top-flight, but a loss of form in the second half of the season saw them drop into the play-off places where they ultimately lost at the semi-final stage to Derby.
This season, it is West Brom who find themselves top of the Championship at the midway point, three points ahead of second-placed Leeds and 11 clear of the play-offs, although it seems Furlong is taking nothing for granted.
Speaking to The Express and Star about his side’s current position at the halfway point of the campaign, Furlong said: “It’s a different season every year and a different case every year.
“We’ll do our best to stay at the top. If that leaves us there, that’s great.”
Discussing how that drop out of the top two for Leeds last season should serve as a reminder for his side going forward, the defender added: “That’s the perfect example, you can say ‘look what happened last year’.
“We’ll do all we can to keep out in front.”
Next up for West Brom a trip to Oakwell to take on relegation battlers Barnsley on Boxing Day afternoon.
This is a smart approach for Furlong and West Brom to take.
While their lead over the chasing pack is a strong one, there is still more than enough time for that to be overhauled.
Indeed, given the way that anyone can seemingly beat anyone at this level, it is a lead that could be gone in very little time at all, although the fact that they have seen Leeds suffer such a fate recently, may well benefit West Brom as motivation for them to avoid a similar fate this time around.