Pulis wants cutting edge from goal-shy West Brom

Date published: Friday 12th February 2016 2:37

Tony Pulis: Struggling to make new signings

Tony Pulis insists West Brom’s troubles in front of goal are down to failing to take chances, rather than struggling to create any.

The Albion boss has seen his team fail to register a single shot on target in three of their last four Premier League matches.

Pulis thinks the statistic is misleading and not a true reflection of how West Brom have been playing.

He denied his side are suffering from a creativity crisis and blamed the low number of shots on target recently on his players’ wastefulness.

“It is a negative and we’re very good at finding negatives in this country,” said Pulis.

“We’ve had loads of shots, we just haven’t been hitting the target. We had more shots than Aston Villa (last weekend) but Villa had two on target and scored two goals.

“But it is something we want to improve on. We have to score more goals, we have to hit the target, and that’s what we’ve been talking about.”

West Brom are the lowest scorers in the Premier League with 23 goals in their 25 games.

Statistics suggest that Saturday’s trip to Goodison Park to face Everton presents an ideal opportunity to improve that record, with Roberto Martinez’s men having conceded more home goals (22) than any other team in the top flight.

However, Pulis, with a squad beset by injuries, reckons his “walking wounded” could struggle on Merseyside, suggesting he has too many first-choice players unavailable to win the game.

“We’re a team who needs our best players fit,” he said. “With our best players fit we can win games without a question of a doubt.

“Our concern is making sure we get a team on the pitch. It’s just looking at the team that’s available. We’ll see what’s what.

“We picked up some injuries again on Wednesday at Peterborough. There were one or two knocks.

“We’ll have to speak to the medical people and see what they think. But it’s the walking wounded at the moment.”

Gareth McAuley’s was the most noteworthy injury sustained during the FA Cup replay with Peterborough. He came off with a hamstring problem and will be out for about two weeks.

McAuley joins fellow defenders Chris Brunt (calf), Jonny Evans (hamstring) and Craig Dawson (ankle) on the sidelines, although the latter has a slight chance of being involved at Goodison Park.

Cristian Gamboa is stiff after playing 120 minutes at Peterborough – his first senior action since September – and he, along with Dawson, will be assessed. On-loan pair Sandro and Alex Pritchard return to the squad after being ineligible in midweek.

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