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Brunt: We must beat survival rivals

PUBLISHED

07:00 20th February 2014

Skipper also urges fans to pump up volume against Fulham

CHRIS Brunt claims Albion urgently need to improve a poor points return against their Barclays Premier League survival rivals – starting against bottom-club Fulham.

And the skipper has highlighted the huge role the fans have to play at The Hawthorns on Saturday (ko 3pm), in what he has described as the club’s most important game for some time.

The Baggies, back from a six-day training camp in Jerez, have taken 13 points against top-half teams – including successive draws against top-six sides Everton, Liverpool and Chelsea in their last three home games.

However, they have only managed 11 points against bottom-half teams – a return that Brunt believes has been a key factor in their struggles this term.

The Northern Ireland international claims now is the time for Pepe Mel's side to channel the confidence gained from their recent home results into beating the teams around them.

"Saturday is a big game and it comes off the back of a good result against Chelsea," said Brunt, whose side sit above the drop-zone on goal difference, four points better off than Fulham.

"It's important that we begin doing better in our home games because we haven't done overly well in them this season.

"That said, the last three home matches have been good results against teams who are doing well.

"It's important we follow that up with a win against a team who are down and around us.

"That's where we're letting ourselves down at the minute. We're struggling against the teams that are down there with us."

Brunt reckons Albion will need at least four wins from their remaining 12 matches to secure an unprecedented fifth successive season of Premier League football.

"It has been a while since we've had a game this important,” he added.

"If we win, we can hopefully put a little bit of distance between ourselves and the other teams at the bottom. It would lift everyone, too – but Fulham will be saying the same thing.

“It's a big game for them as well. They've just changed their manager so I'm sure they are going to be fighting for their lives.

"Hopefully, the week we've spent in Spain, where we've practically all been living together, can help us going into this game.

"We have good spirit. We've also got people coming back from injury who might be able to help us out in the next few games.

"We've only won four matches all season and if you look at the points we're on now, we're probably going to need to win at least the same amount again to stay up.

"The games are running out quickly and if we can get a win on Saturday it could be crucial."

Brunt believes the Hawthorns hordes played an important role in their late fightback against leaders Chelsea and has called on supporters to pump up the volume during Felix Magath's first game in charge of the Cottagers. 

"We need to give the fans something to be noisy about but too many times this season we haven't done that," he added.

"It works both ways. We need to give them something to make some noise about, but when you're down and struggling it's important that they stick with us.

"They really helped us in the Chelsea game. We came back into it when they were making a lot of noise."

Copyright 2014 WEST BROMWICH ALBION FOOTBALL CLUB LTD. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.wba.co.uk as the source.

West Bromwich Albion, WBA and Baggies are registered trademarks of West Bromwich Albion Football Club Ltd. The club is also known as West Brom.

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