Sam Allardyce has called for “a big contribution as quickly as possible” from West Brom’s new signings as the club battle to stay in the Premier League.
The Baggies boss strengthened his squad with four new players during the winter transfer window. Robert Snodgrass arrived in mid-January and Mbaye Diagne was brought in last week, while Okay Yokuslu and Ainsley Maitland-Niles were brought in on deadline day.
Snodgrass played his fourth game for Albion and Diagne made his second appearance and first start as West Brom slipped to a 2-1 defeat at relegation rivals Sheffield United on Tuesday night.
The loss, an 11th in the last 16 Premier League matches, left the Baggies nine points from safety and only one point above the bottom-of-the-table Blades.
Allardyce said: “I’ve done my best to help the squad. The club has done the best to help the squad that’s already here. We’ve done all we can possibly do in terms of improving the squad.
“We hope that the players who have come along to join the fight can make a big contribution as quickly as possible.
“That might not be as easy for Okay (Yokuslu) from Spain and obviously with Mbaye (Diagne) catching up with the pace of the Premier League.
“Certainly with Robert Snodgrass’ experience and Ainsley, an England international, will hopefully lift the players and show the quality we know they’ve got.
“We have to turn the corner and start picking up points.”
In the build-up to Tuesday night’s match, Blades boss Chris Wilder had taken the unusual approach of labelling the game as a “must-win” encounter.
Until then, Wilder had protected his players from pressure this campaign, with confidence in the dressing room fragile as the club suffered the ignominy of making the worst start to a season in the history of English top flight football.
However, the 53-year-old revealed he read his team the riot act at half-time against West Brom, when the Blades were 1-0 down, and did not shy away from spelling it out that they must win the match.
“Yes, I got into them a little bit,” Wilder said. “I don’t get the pussyfooting around players. Of course there is a time and a place and I don’t always take a sledge hammer to them.
“This is where we are, this is the position that we are in and this is the division that we are in – they are professional and they have to play under pressure and if they can’t cope with that then they are not going to survive at the highest level.
“I never get all this poncing about with, ‘Is it right to say that about them?’
Sheffield United’s fight against relegation continues against Chelsea at Bramall Lane on Sunday, while West Brom travel to Tottenham on the same day.