West Brom moved back on top of the Sky Bet Championship last night as they edged Preston North End at Deepdale via a 1-0 scoreline.
The goal came late, too, as Charlie Austin struck right at the end of the game and Baggies fans are going to be pleased to see the big gap that is opening up between them and the sides from 3rd downwards.
They and Leeds United are proving the two to catch so far in the second tier and it is evident that the men from the Hawthorns have found some much-needed balance to their play this year, compared to the rather gung-ho approach last time out.
Slaven Bilic deserves praise, then, but so do his players with them evidently taking real care to ensure they lock up shop before trying to score goals themselves.
And, that said, Sam Johnstone is proving at the heart of that with this impressive stat:
Another clean sheet ❌🚫
— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) December 2, 2019
He had his doubters last season at the club but he looks to be proving them wrong time and again and so let’s take a look at the reaction to his record:
but…but Bond is better?
Said every arm chair fan in the game
— liamić (@IiamwbaV4) December 2, 2019
Always said it… world class SJ 🙌
— WBA Rainbow Stand 🅙 (@TheRainbowStand) December 2, 2019
Not gonna lie, had my doubts about him at the start of the season but he’s starting to grow on me
— ➰ (@wba_ymni) December 2, 2019
Great game Sam kept us in the game🙌🏼
— Jack (@Jackmaywba) December 2, 2019
Therein lies the key..
Smooth possession and solid defence..
As Cloughie used to say, 'build from the back'.
Last season, we were a soft touch defensively and somewhat confused..
Clarity of personnel and shape help.
Plus FANTASTIC save by Sam…
— Andy Caulton (@AndyfromNewHamp) December 2, 2019
I dont want to see johnstone slander ever again absolute beast
— fül (@jjcole180) December 2, 2019
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