Wasted Southampton Chances Irk Pulis
Head coach Tony Pulis has reflected on wasted chances for West Bromwich Albion across the last couple of games as we fell to defeat to Southampton at the weekend.
Hosting Claude Puel's side at The Hawthorns, Albion went down one nil on the day despite having seven more attempts overall than the visitors, and three additional shots on target.
Speaking to the Birmingham Mail in his post game press conference, Pulis knew that a lack of a clinical edge and composure in the final third had hit us against both Southampton and Watford prior to that and it was becoming a frustration.
'Our stat man told me that`s nearly 40 shots on goal in two games. I think we had 17 today. We`ve got to hit the target and be more clinical in front of goal. Southampton are a good side and created some chances themselves. But the last 20/25 minutes we really took over the game. That`s when you need a little bit of composure to put the ball in the back of the net.'
The game was also a third successive blank for the side when it came to scoring, and that's the first time we've gone that long without a goal all season.
'The chances are dropping to some of our best players. Chadli has one first half where he slashes at it - he`s better than that. Then you`ve got Matty Phillips when Mozza passes it back to him. Matty can have a touch, but he tries to hit it first time. If he`d have been on top form and not had the injury and was full of confidence, he`d have had a touch and side footed it. He had enough time to touch it and side foot it into the net. Then Nyom`s chance, Hal`s chance and the keeper makes a great save off Daws at the end. There`s six or seven chances there that you expect us to score from.'
On the positive thing of things, Jonny Evans came in for praise and criticism given how his game went.
'You have to take in on the chin. The most disappointing thing is there were other chances that if we`d have taken our time and had more composure. Especially when you look at Jonny`s chance. Jonny is as good technically as any player I`ve ever worked with. That`s last kick of the game and you expect him to side foot that in from five yards.'
That also led to questions about Salomon Rondon's ongoing drought and Pulis praised the fans for sticking with him given his overall contribution in matches.
'Salomon is going through a bad time. One thing I will say about Salomon is that the supporters have been fantastic with him. It`s lovely to see because he`s not having the best of times. But the supporters have stuck with him and that`s really good and pleasing and I`ll say 'thank you` to them.'
Looking forward, Pulis went on to add.
'There`s a lot of areas I`ll look at in the summer. No way in a million years am I going to criticise this group of players. It was hot out there today, the first hot day. But the last 25 minutes they really showed some character by trying to push on and push forward.'
Going back to the game, he also told Sky Sports that he was pleased with the impact of the substitutes and he did feel sorry for the team as their efforts have warranted more in recent matches.
'It livened it up a bit. It gave us some more legs more than anything else on the pitch. It's a disappointment for the players because they've worked so hard this week to not get anything out of it and to just get a point at Old Trafford. It's a disappointing.'
'For a team outside the top seven, to get as many opportunities as we have done over the last two games, is good. What we've got to do is take that little bit more time and have a little bit more quality in the final third.'