Allardyce not expecting January miracles after West Brom’s Leeds ‘shock’

Date published: Tuesday 29th December 2020 9:11 - Neil Foster

West Brom manager Sam Allardyce admitted his shock at the ease of Leeds 5-0 win at the Hawthorns and knows he must strengthen.

The Baggies were humbled on their own patch, with Romaine Sawyers’ comical own goal setting the tone. Under pressure, he turned the ball towards his keeper without looking.

However, Sam Johnstone was waiting to the side of his goal and the ball flew into an empty net. Allardyce’s face on the touchline was a picture and things went from bad to worse very quickly.

Ezgjan Alioski made it 2-0 on 31 minutes before Jack Harrison added another five minutes later. Rodrigo netted a fourth just before the break to ensure the points would be heading to Elland Road.

Raphinha completed the scoring on 72 minutes and it is back to the drawing board for Albion.

Allardyce is known for his defensive prowess and he knows they must do better early on in matches.

“A real shock tonight. Especially off the back of the Liverpool result,” he told Match of the Day. “But the first thing we have to do stop conceding goals in the first 15 minutes, which has been done on a regular basis and the opposition usually score then.

“Instead of them scoring we decided to score a bizarre goal. You must recover from there, you mustn’t let that get you down. But Leeds overran us and we didn’t compete like we did at Liverpool.”

January may not be a saviour

West Brom sit 19th in the standings and are five points from safety. There is still a long way to go but they do not want to risk being cut off in the drop zone.

It is obvious that they need fresh blood when the window opens and Allardyce is known to be shrewd in the market.

However, the former England chief knows it will not be easy, given the current state of the world.

“I think it’s going to be even harder [to bring in players] with the pandemic,” he added. “We have to get players that are better than we already have.

“There are plenty of players around but are those players going to bring anything to the first team? And that’s what makes it a difficult job to secure a player that will bring something better.

“Tonight has made it even tougher than I thought it was with the way we collapsed. Two sides that have just been promoted and what a difference between the two.”

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