West Brom will still be bitterly disappointed by the manner of their defeat to Leicester City last time out, Carlos Corberan’s usually resilient Baggies carved open on the break in the dying minutes for the Foxes to dramatically win 2-1.
Corberan will just hope that this narrow defeat to Enzo Maresca’s side doesn’t derail his team completely and their sustained efforts to win promotion, the west Midlands club do still occupy a secure playoff position in fifth spot even after the loss.
But, with how competitive the second tier can be, teams can fade away and drop down the division rapidly if they’re not picking up consistent results.
The demoralising defeat to Leicester can be quickly forgotten about however if the Baggies instantly respond and beat a now managerless Sunderland team this coming weekend, Corberan’s side rubbing further salt into the Black Cats’ wound if they were to win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
The West Brom manager will want his players to up their performance levels as the fixture schedule becomes crowded in the winter months, the Spaniard potentially needing to utilise his full squad in the weeks to come to gain more points on the board.
Here are three players at the Hawthorns that the Spaniard must revive to help the Baggies in their bid for promotion or else they could face time out of the team.
Grady Diangana continues to underperform for the Baggies, the Congolese winger anonymous last game against the Foxes going forward.
Only registering one effort on Mads Hermansen’s goal in the tight affair at the Hawthorns as per Sofascore, Diangana was equally ineffective when attempting to breach a solid Leicester backline with weaving runs – successful with only two of his six dribble attempts in the game, before Corberan substituted off his poor number 11 in the 75th minute.
The £20k-per-week forward’s creativity and eye for goal could prove to be crucial for the Baggies when the matches come thick and fast and Corberan’s men need to work up a bit of magic from nothing, but the skilful former West Ham United man has lost his way in recent games.
West Brom flop who left on a free in 2021 now outperforming Diangana
This West Brom dud has turned his career around since failing to ever settle at the Hawthorns.
Corberan will need to just put his arm around his misfiring forward and remind him of his unbelievable qualities, a skillset that saw Diangana score eight goals in his first full season at this level for West Brom after leaving the Hammers behind.
Conor Townsend has also been underwhelming this campaign after the Baggies full-back proved integral for West Brom going forward last season with three goals and three assists.
19 games into this new term, however, Townsend only has one solitary assist next to his name with the usually dependable 30-year-old now quiet down the flanks for the promotion hopefuls.
West Brom’s number three has also had his fair share of off-days recently carrying out his standard defensive duties, Townsend noticeably below-par when the Baggies lost 2-1 on their travels to Southampton last month.
Corberan will want his experienced Baggies defender to up his performances in the contests to follow, urging Townsend to be more adventurous going forward whilst remaining switched on at the back to help goalkeeper Alex Palmer collect more clean sheets.
Corberan will be glad to have John Swift back fit and ready for selection after a lengthy injury, but he’ll need the ex-Chelsea man to contribute more in attack soon and perform to the level he was managing week in week out before the lay-off occurred.
Understandably rusty, £22k-per-week Swift will also be eager to blow the cobwebs off soon by getting back on the scoresheet regularly.
Before picking up an injury, the attacking midfielder was in a rich vein of goalscoring form – scoring six times for West Brom in the Championship.
Since returning to the team however, the Baggies star has been unable to pick back up from where he left off with no further goals added to his tally.
Corberan will hope he can get the best out of his 28-year-old midfielder again, who had a dire 45 minutes last game against Leicester when introduced into the contest at the interval – accurate with zero of his crosses or long balls in the second half, failing to test the opposition goalkeeper also with no efforts attempted.