West Bromwich Albion were able to arrest their losing slump away from home this week with a goalless draw against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road – but there’s still a lot of negativity from fans surrounding recent performances.
The Baggies sit third in the Championship but the style of football is leaving a lot to be desired, with Valerien Ismael’s direct tactics not winning over some of the fanbase.
Albion have been victorious in one of their last five Championship games and before the stalemate in Lancashire on Tuesday evening they had lost four away matches on the spin.
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They are back on home soil on Friday night though as they welcome Nottingham Forest – a club who have lost just once in 12 matches since Chris Hughton’s services were dispensed of.
The football has changed under Steve Cooper but four of the Reds’ last five encounters have been draws, and EFL pundit is expecting that run to continue with a 1-1 scoreline in the Midlands for the club he started his footballing career with.
“The locals are getting restless with Valerien Ismael,” Prutton said on his Sky Sports predictions show.
“The results have dried up, the performances haven’t been great and the top two are slipping away.
“Nottingham Forest are ticking along picking up points under Steve Cooper, but unless they can turn draws into wins, any push for the top six will elude them.
“I think this will be another draw that doesn’t really suit either side.”
It’s not often that a manager will be criticised for having a team in third position in a league table, but Ismael is experiencing that right now at The Hawthorns.
The expectations are clearly quite higher here than they were at Barnsley and the style of football isn’t particularly impressing the locals as they find themselves eight points behind Bournemouth in second place.
And the matches do not get any easier for them as Forest, despite not winning many matches recently, are still on a relatively long undefeated run and have dangerous players going forward.
Will it be enough to put away Ismael’s side? A draw does seem the most likely outcome on what we’ve seen of both sides recently and this is one I’d be happy to sit on the fence about.