West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray has praised the Baggies fans for their unwavering support, despite the side’s return of one point from seven games.
Supporters have had little to cheer in that run as Albion have scored just three goals and have slipped to the bottom of the Premier League, but fans have stuck by Mowbray’s side and chanted the Albion manager’s name.
Mowbray believes the club’s heritage of attractive football has been a factor as the fans can see and appreciate what Mowbray and his men are trying to achieve, and he said he hopes they will continue to support his philosophy.
“I think that it is right it is publicly said and the fans are praised for their support,” Mowbray said. “It is important the fans stay with the team. I know they don’t enjoy losing, we don’t enjoy losing, but I hope they enjoy the football.
“From the people I have spoken to they appreciate their team trying to play, trying to be creative and trying to score, instead of defending 90 minutes and losing 1-0. When that happens and you end up with no points it leaves a very horrible taste in the mouth, rather than if you go out to attack.”
Albion have come through a tough sequence with games at Manchester United, Newcastle United and Liverpool, and a home clash with Chelsea, but now they face a sequence that provide a more realistic test, starting at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.
Mowbray admits the run-up to Christmas could be a vital period and he is confident that the patience of the supporters will be rewarded. “We had a couple of half chances against Chelsea before they scored,” he recalled.
“For us to get in front against those teams is something we need to strive for. Once we are in front the game can change course rather than having to chase the game.
“I think even when we were 3-0 down in the last 15 minutes the whole stadium was still singing and supporting the team. Hopefully that shows a positive mind-set from the fans, that they are sticking with the team.
“They appreciate it is going to be a long, hard season and the only way we are going to come out with a positive outcome is for us all to stick together.
“There is still plenty of light at the end of the tunnel. We have already won back-to-back games and we need to do that again. Things will change for us, I am pretty sure of that because our play deserves that, and the supporters who have stuck by the team will also get their rewards.”
Mowbray is preparing to bolster his squad during the January transfer window and has revealed he may look to recruit experienced Premier League players on loan, rather than taking a gamble on young, promising talent, with a striker and a defensive midfielder top of his list. However, Mowbray said he would consider all options.
“I know the type of players I’d like in an ideal world,” said Mowbray.
“You have to look at what’s available, weigh up the options and whittle them down to the ones which you can say yes to. For example, there may be some 17-year-olds playing in the Premier League who could come here. But at the time you may think not because this guy is 28 or 29 and, while he may not have as much talent, he knows the league inside out.”