The first loss since Darren Moore’s sacking almost came close to haunt West Bromwich Albion on Friday night. However, Jimmy Shan’s tactical astuteness allowed the Baggies to wether the storm, as he successfully changed their style and overwhelmed Birmingham City in a thriller.
Indeed, no one would doubt that the Baggies have been playing with fire for a few weeks and were finally made to pay for their defensive shakiness. Obviously, even the excellent Sam Johnstone couldn’t save them this time, as Shan learned a valuable lesson on having to improve his side’s set-piece defending.
That being said, they never gave up hope even after going down twice.
Dwight Gayle soared in a new (it should never have needed to be a new one) role centrally, where he works the best. He ran Birmingham’s defence to the ground, being supplemented well by the composed Jay Rodriguez and his side’s in-form midfielders. Despite having to overwhelm the ultra-defensive Blues, they found spaces with some impressive attacking moves.
The fighting spirit showcased in the end was something which Darren Moore just couldn’t conjure up. While his sacking last month may well have been a relative mystery, things are looking a lot clearer.
Right now, it’s evident that the players love working under Shan. He allowed them to play freely even under pressure, resulting in some superbly worked goals and a comeback win which consolidates the fact they’re once again on the rise.
While the heat will rise in the coming weeks, Friday night showed a new side of West Brom. No longer are they the side to bow down and accept defeat, they finally have an in-game manager. A resurgent unit who play their heart on their sleeves, the Baggies are now unflinching under pressure and are intent on riding their wave of momentum all the way towards winning the play-offs.
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