West Bromwich Albion manager Valerien Ismael says his side still needs to be more clinical despite winning their last two games, speaking to the Baggies’ media team ahead of tonight’s match against Barnsley.
After failing to turn draws into wins during November, winning just six points from a possible 15 and scoring just twice in these five games, Albion have managed to improve their attacking record slightly this month with victories against Coventry City and Reading.
Scoring twice in the first half against the Sky Blues at the Coventry Building Society Arena to seal the three points in that win, they were able to win another three points as Callum Robinson’s goal proved to be the difference between themselves and the Royals last weekend.
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They had numerous chances to score a few more goals against Veljko Paunovic’s men at The Hawthorns, but failed to put their opportunities away and this nearly came back to bite them in the opening 45 when Tom Dele-Bashiru missed a glorious chance to open the scoring.
Thankfully for Ismael’s side, the Berkshire outfit failed to threaten anywhere near enough to trouble a makeshift West Brom backline as they were able to claim another precious victory, taking them to within three points of the automatic promotion spots going into tonight’s game.
Despite their upturn in form though, the second-tier side’s manager is wary of their inability to be clinical in front of goal, citing this as something they need to continue working on.
Speaking about this issue, he said: “I think it’s important to say that with all the chances we are creating, our conversion rate is still too low.
“We need to improve on that. We have so many possibilities and we can kill games off earlier.
“Anything can happen in the Championship. You can be 1-0 up in the last minute having dominated the game and one long ball can result in a goal.
“We have to put more chances away and be more ruthless to make sure we are avoiding late scares.”
Albion did create chances against Reading last Saturday and should have scored more, but the quality of some of the opportunities they created simply weren’t good enough, and similar happened against Nottingham Forest.
Darnell Furlong and Jordan Hugill may have had golden chances, but they needed to create better opportunities and ensure they fall to the right players.
This is why a creator as well as a goalscorer would be ideal during the winter window to ensure they have enough going forward to keep up with the likes of AFC Bournemouth and Fulham.
Nonetheless, if they can get someone like Daryl Dike in, they will improve their attacking record straight away regardless of whether a playmaker comes in or not, so Ismael does have a point and it’s great to see a manager in touch with the problems that supporters also see from the stands.
If they can become more clinical, and they have shown they can be against the likes of Sheffield United and Cardiff City earlier in the season, then there’s no reason why they can’t go on and hammer relegation strugglers Barnsley at Oakwell tonight.
This would be a major confidence booster for their forwards are firing so many blanks last month, but it’s now up to them to step up to the plate.