It’s a measure of where West Bromwich Albion are that supporters travelled to West Ham United on Wednesday night expecting to get something from the game.
And they will this weekend also against Wigan Athletic .
Probably, too, against Stoke at The Hawthorns next weekend. Actually, that’s probably incorrect – the Baggies never seem to get anything against the Staffordshire side.
Albion have probably become victims of their own form.
A victory at Arsenal, a draw at Manchester United and credible performances elsewhere, have raised the expectations. Di Matteo is having none of it.
West Ham have struggled all season, as have Wigan.
But ask the Italian about Albion’s chances and you get an answer straight out of the ‘Sarcasm’ section.
When asked about Albion’s chances of collecting victories during the coming games, he joked: “Is that based on the fact we have been in the Premier League for eight years and just got promoted?”
With tongue still very firmly in cheek, he added: “We have the second lowest budget in the league, so we are expected to win those games or get something out of it.
“I hope we can, but people shouldn’t expect us to turn up and just get a result.”
Di Matteo said recently that the coming games would shape Albion’s season.
He has a point.
After they play Wigan and Stoke, the Baggies then travel to Everton before hosting Newcastle.
December, a notoriously attritional month for clubs in terms of injuries and suspensions, brings back-to-back derbies against Villa and Wolves, along with the usual hectic festive programme.
Di Matteo has identified the coming weeks as crucial to Albion’s prospects this season.
“We look at them as our competitors and they are massive games for us,” he continued.
““It’s all about picking up points so we’re hopeful we can get some more points on board.”