Matt Wiggins spoke to Baggies Facts to get a West Brom perspective ahead of this afternoons six pointer in the scrap to avoid relegation…
West Brom vs Fulham, what comes to mind when you think of this fixture from years gone by?
In previous answers to similar questions I’ve gone with Inamoto smashing one in at Craven Cottage in the cup from miles out. I can remember in the season you romped the league, believe it was 2000/01, you beat us 3-1 at The Hawthorns but I remember coming away pleased with how we played, Saha was on fire that year.
Since we last spoke, Slaven Bilic was sacked the morning after an impressive 1-1 draw away at Manchester City. Was it the right decision or should he have been given more time?
He should have been given more time. Obviously I’m hoping Big Sam can pull off a miracle but it’s not a decision I would have made and our performances (Wolves/Liverpool aside), especially at home, may come to justify that view somewhat come the end of the season.
How would you describe Bilic’s successor Sam Allardyce’s reign as boss at the Baggies so far?
He started off well with a point against Liverpool and appeased the Baggies fans with a win against our fierce rivals Wolves but since his reign began we have conceded 22 times (in just 7 games). Time will tell and it’s always difficult to judge these ever changing situations, he’s walked in to a club who are pretty much skint and the players confidence has clearly suffered throughout the season. It’ll be his biggest achievement as a manager if he manages to keep our side up.
Given that both sides are trying to close the gap to those outside the bottom three, is this game a six pointer for both sides?
It’s massive. I’m trying not to look at the league table too much and have been focusing on how many points we need, but quite simply, if we are to even have a slim, slim chance of staying up, we have to bag three points in this one.
We’re nearing the end of the January Transfer Window and West Brom secured the signing of Robert Snodgrass this month. Do you feel that West Brom need to do more in the window to boost their survival chances?
We have just managed to get a deal over the line for Mbaye Diagne on loan from Galatasaray. His goals to games ratio on the continent has been prolific, but we all know the Premier League can be a tough transition even for the best of goalscorers. We need probably two or three more on top of the Senegalese international and Snodgrass.
Who’s one West Brom player that Fulham need to watch out for on Saturday afternoon?
Matheus Pereira has been in a bit of form recently and it appears he is starting to dictate the game more and more (as much as possession allows) as the season goes on.
Who’s one Fulham player you feel that can threaten West Brom at The Hawthorns this weekend?
I was so impressed with Anguissa in our previous match-up this season. He reminded me so much of when Youssouf Mulumbu used to boss games at The Hawthorns. Athletic, strong, dynamic.
Finally, how do you see the game panning out and what do you think the score will be?
We have to halt our dismal home run, but any game at the moment is an uphill battle it would seem. I’m going to say a draw with a couple of mistakes, a penalty maybe making up the goals.
WBA 2-2 FULHAM
Thanks to the guys at Baggies Facts for answering our questions.