West Bromwich Albion recorded an impressive 1-0 victory over Preston North End on Monday evening with a tough encounter at Deepdale which saw the Midlands side leapfrog Leeds United back to the top of the Championship table.
The Baggies were the better side in the first half but were left frustrated by good organisation from the Lilywhites. Alex Neil’s side then improved in the second half but the game appeared to be drifting to a 0-0 draw until a controversial penalty was awarded to Albion. Charlie Austin cooly tucked away the spot kick which saw them reclaim top spot.
Here we take a look at three things we learnt about West Brom from the encounter:
AWAY FORM IS LOOKING IMPERIOUS
Another victory on the road for Slaven Bilic’s side mean they now have the best away record in the division with seven wins from ten away games with just one defeat. Not only are they consistently winning games away from home they are keeping clean sheets. Four clean sheets on the road in the last five games clearly shows their resilience and determination to grind out results.
NEVER SAY DIE ATTITUDE
One of the most important attributes to have if you are looking to win promotion is to be hard to beat and West Brom have this quality in abundance. They have the best record in the division when it comes to scoring late further highlighting their determination to win games and never giving up until the final whistle. Albion will be fully aware that they won’t be able to win every game 4-0 and will sometimes have to ‘find a way to win’. Late goals against Sheffield Wednesday and now against Preston have yielded an extra four points which could be crucial come the end of the campaign.
IT’S A SQUAD GAME
Looking at West Brom’s starting XI on Monday evening it was full of Premier League quality but some of the star performers were slightly off the boil. Pereira and Diangana didn’t quite have the end product they usually do but Bilic bought Austin and Edwards off the bench and they had a real impact on proceedings. Youngster Kyle Edwards made some good runs and won the penalty whilst Charlie Austin showed all of his experience to tuck away a high pressure penalty.