Rugby Tonight: Exclusive Q&A with England coach Eddie JonesJun 14
Sam Allardyce eyeing January additions for West Brom’s survival fight
At least one striker is on the former England manager’s wish list.
Sam Allardyce plans to be “extremely busy” in the January transfer window after Saturday’s FA Cup exit at the hands of Blackpool highlighted a lack of quality in the West Brom squad as they continue their fight against relegation.
Allardyce had urged his fringe players to use the third-round tie at Bloomfield Road to show they could contribute to the fight for Premier League safety, but they twice found themselves chasing the game against League One opposition before being beaten 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out at the end of a 2-2 draw.
Robert Snodgrass was not involved after only completing his move from West Ham on Friday, with Allardyce hoping the Scot is just the first of several new faces this month with the Baggies still six points from safety and without a win since the end of November.
“I’m hoping to be extremely busy in the window as I have been extremely busy in every window,” Allardyce said.
“It’s part of the process to work tirelessly on outs and ins until the end of January. Everybody knows what we need to do. We need to move players in this window. We need to bring players in.
“Everybody needs players but I think more than anybody in the Premier League we need players to give us a chance of moving out of the position we’re in.”
West Brom lined up without a recognised striker at Bloomfield Road, with Callum Robinson the only available front man and Allardyce not willing to risk him with his eye on next Saturday’s short trip to Wolves.
“We played with nobody up front because I don’t have anybody,” Allardyce added. “We need to get out in to the market and get if not one maybe two front men to give us an opportunity.”
Bournemouth’s Josh King is among those linked with The Hawthorns, but Allardyce said he was uncertain if the Norway striker was within his budget.
“I’ve got no idea what the cost might be,” he said. “If the price is within our price range I think we’d be interested.”
While West Brom try to quickly move on, Blackpool can look forward to Monday’s fourth and fifth round draws after Chris Maxwell’s heroics in the shoot-out in his first game back following a positive test for coronavirus.
Maxwell saved from Kyle Edwards, Darnell Furlong and Matheus Pereira in the shoot-out to put the “awful” experience of being laid up with Covid-19 behind him before leading the celebrations on the pitch.
It was a day to savour for a side that have won only one of their last five in the league, having blown hot and cold before the turn of the year, and manager Neil Critchley is keen to build on the result.
“This should give us some confidence,” he said. “It shows what we’re capable of, and why we get angry and frustrated when we don’t produce these levels in certain games.
“We’ve got to find that consistency which is what we’re striving for. It won’t always be like this and the style of game was different to some games in our division but it’s up to us to find a way to play better.”
Critchley, who left his post as Liverpool under-23 coach to take over at Blackpool last March, said he had no preferences for Monday’s draw, though there would always be one team on his mind.
“Honestly I don’t mind,” he said. “We can wait for the draw and be really excited. A home draw would be nice but we’re just delighted to be in the hat for the next round. Liverpool sounds nice, doesn’t it?”