Sam Allardyce reiterated his belief that West Brom’s struggles this season are solely because of their lack of a “natural goalscorer”.
The Baggies’ chances of completing an unlikely escape faded further when they fell to a 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace.
Luka Milivojevic scored the penalty that made the difference, leaving Allardyce with a mountain to climb.
He has insisted in recent weeks that they would be in a better position if they had a better striker, and he repeated those claims after defeat at Selhurst Park.
Allardyce told Sky Sports: “You don’t fear the worst when you out-play the opposition and arrive in their area twice as many times.
“We had twice as many crosses and twice as many shots. But we had 12 shots and only one on target.
“That shows what our problems have been. We ended up losing to a penalty.
“I have no complaints about the penalty. I think it was a penalty. Left frustrated for the players’ efforts not being rewarded and that’s a consistent analysis from me. It was our lack of finishing in the end.
“Everybody will have a say or a talk or a chat about it, but at the end of the day you need a natural goalscorer. When you have one, he finds the way to be in the right areas and he doesn’t need more than one opportunity to score.
“I think lots of teams in the area that we are in find that’s their problem. That makes life very difficult for you.”
Allardyce sees mountain to climb
The former England manager continued: “Everything about what we’re doing now – we’re defending superbly well and our football leading up to the final third is excellent. Our balls into the box maybe could be better but they are coming and the chances are there.
“We need more responsibility to not only score, but to hit them on target. When you keep missing the target that’s the most disappointing thing for me.
“There’s 27 points available and 20 needed. We can only really afford to drop seven points. It’s a massive mountain to climb for us. Everybody knows that.”