Belfast Telegraph

Draws must become wins for Baggies, insists new boss Alan Pardew

Alan Pardew has challenged his West Brom players to start turning draws into wins and the recently-appointed Baggies boss has targeted at least two victories from a tricky run of fixtures over the festive period.

Pardew succeeded Tony Pulis last week and inherited a side which had won only two of their last 23 Premier League matches. A goalless stalemate with Crystal Palace in his first game in charge was a third straight draw for West Brom and left them just one place and three points above the relegation zone.

The Baggies have drawn seven games this season - more than any other team in the Premier League.

"If you look at the league table, of the bottom seven or eight teams we've lost the least but we've drawn so many games that could easily have been wins," said Pardew.

"But we don't want to be saying that throughout the campaign. We've got to start winning games. That is what we are paid for - to win games, not to draw games."

Pardew said this week that he believes nine wins will keep West Brom in the Premier League and Albion have what appears like a good chance to get that elusive victory on Saturday when they travel to bottom-of-the-table Swansea.

Games against Liverpool and Manchester United follow the one in south Wales while West Brom also have Arsenal to play at the end of 2017, with matches against Stoke and Everton in between.

"If we go to Swansea and get a draw it'll be a decent result. But we'll still have the pressure over us of getting a win," said Pardew.

" We need to try to get across that bridge as quickly as we can because it would definitely lift the confidence of the players and we will be going to Swansea trying to win the game.

"But the Premier League is strange and you can get wins at different times. You never look at one game and go 'we aren't going to win the next two'. You go into every game as if you're going to win it.

"I think it's important that somewhere in this run we get at least a couple of victories, maybe three. We've got to push for those results.

"This team is capable of beating one of the top teams. On its day and with everything falling our way there's no reason we can't beat a Liverpool or Man United. But most importantly, without getting ahead of ourselves, we've got Swansea on Saturday and that is on our agenda."

Chris Brunt and Matt Phillips are expected to return to the squad on Saturday. A thigh injury has ruled Brunt out of the last three games while Phillips missed the draw with Palace with a hamstring problem. Gareth Barry (thigh) came off against Palace and he will miss out.

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