West Bromwich Albion manager Tony Mowbray has said his side must show a ruthless streak if they are to drag themselves out of the relegation places.
For the second consecutive game Albion created a host of chances on Sunday and dominated for long spells, but were unable to kill off Portsmouth and eventually squandered two precious points when England striker Peter Crouch grabbed an equaliser.
Before Crouch’s strike, Albion striker Ishmael Miller, facing a lengthy spell out of action after damaging knee ligaments in a clash with Pompey keeper David James, had several promising opportunities.
Miller was not the only culprit and Mowbray will broaden his search for a striker who can add a killer touch to Albion’s promising play, especially as he now only has strikers Roman Bednar and Luke Moore to call upon.
“It was our inability to score a second when we were on top that cost us,” Mowbray lamented. “Credit to Crouch, it was a terrific strike. I know it took a deflection that made it dip over Scott Carson and but that is what can happen in the Premier League. You could feel the quality they possess, especially in the front areas. Defoe’s movement is always a menace.
“Crouch is what he is and he scored a great goal. But we didn’t manage to get over the line and get a second for the victory. It was a frustrating day. There were spells in the first half where we deserved a second and yet you could feel the quality they had.
“Their forwards were always a menace and yet I thought we looked dangerous breaking away.
“We didn’t create too many chances in the second half but in the first we did and we thought we should have scored. In the first half there were better chances for us to get a second goal.”
Albion were mostly untroubled by Pompey’s star-studded forward line until Crouch’s strike and Mowbray said his side must take heart from that when they visit Sunderland on Saturday for another massive game against the managerless Black Cats.
“I don’t think Scott Carson had to make another save,” he said. “Glen Johnson had a great chance but he side-footed over and Carson has half fumbled a cross, but I think that was it. It wasn’t a game where we were under any great pressure. Yet the frustration is we didn’t have the quality to finish them off.
“We want to win our home games but we are not too despondent. I always think it is about the performance level of the team. We are playing in the Premier League and playing against a side that is packed with internationals, but we are more than capable of holding our own.
“We just have to turn some steady, decent performances over the past few weeks into more points. We look forward to the next game, the next challenge, Sunderland away.
“We should go into that in confident mood. In the last couple of away games we have been very solid and we have been a constant threat.”