Claret everywhere

Terry Wills on Albion’s past and future opponents.

It was a slight improvement but yet again Albion failed to take full advantage of other results that had meant a victory would see Tony Pulis and the fans celebrating his first away win.

Destination Turf Moor , home of relegation favourites Burnley who of late had clawed themselves from what appeared to be an impossible task to within a whisker of leapfrogging the Baggies in the table. Optimism had to be the name of the game but after a painful display that saw Burnley leading 2-0 I felt the only thing that could prevent a defeat was if the fog became so bad the game would have to be abandoned.

It was a horrific performance so bad that Pulis said it resembled a Sunday morning stroll in the park. Wrong Tony – my Sunday strolls were decidedly quicker. Newly-appointed captain Darren Fletcher and a lopsided defence simply had to improve. The choice of full-backs was controversial as was leaving the never out of the news Saido Berahino.

Being honest, the Clarets seemed capable of defending what appeared to be a comfortable lead at the break but a headed set-piece goal from Chris Brunt bought breathing space and later when substitute Brown Idey converted another corner kick it was celebration time. Ironic that after seemingly appearing to be on his way out he turned out the saviour of a just about deserved point. In the latter stages both sides could have snatched a winner but for Baggies supporters the general feeling was it had been a point gained rather than three points lost.

On to the continuing battle to avoid the drop plus an almost forgotten fifth-round FA Cup game.

First, Swansea’s visit. This is another game where a win would be a major boost, and is followed by in-form West Ham playing attractive football that must give them confidence that they can get another step closer to Wembley.

Baggies’ chances? Well the Blues saw their hopes dashed at the end of the road while the Hammers might yet see their pretty bubbles, like their dreams, fade and die .

Of the two, and with the over-riding importance of the Greed League’ money on offer, although I would love to see Albion enjoying a trip down Wembley Way a positive Swansea result would be my first choice. Change of heart; being greedy how about avoiding a potential drop into the Championship coupled with a magical trip to Wembley?

But whatever lies in store one thing is essential. There must be no embarrassing repeat of the Burnley first half non-performance.