Club News

Fletch: Nobody has downed tools

Skipper assesses Albion's goalscoring drought

ALBION captain Darren Fletcher admits the players are struggling to ‘put their finger on’ the reason for their sudden goal-scoring drought.

The Baggies have dried up with no goals in the last four games despite plenty of opportunities to find the target.

It has provoked much discussion within the Albion camp but Fletcher admits the answer remains elusive – although he is worried a loss of confidence could result.

“It’s been a funny one,” says the skipper. “It’s hard to put your finger on. You can only keep going out there and doing it.

“Sometimes confidence goes really quickly, although we’re having a great season, it’s amazing how we’ve been waiting for a ‘down-patch’ all season but it didn’t really come.

“Maybe this is just us having a little bit of a down period and people will coincide that with safety and 40 points and all that.

“Maybe a little bit of confidence has been lost. The effort's there, the commitment's there, there’s no doubt about that, it’s just not happening for us. We just need one to go in out of nothing and that will set us on our way.”

Albion tackle the defending champions Leicester City at The Hawthorns on Saturday recalling it was their 2-1 victory at King Power Stadium that really got their season moving back in the first week in November.

And despite the recent results dip, Albion still cling to eighth place and the firm ambition of reaching 50 points while clinching a top half finish.

That makes the whispering campaign about the players relaxing having secured their Premier League status for another year a subject you would be wise not to mention in the dressing room.

Fletcher says: “It’s not that it hurts, it’s just annoying really. Because you see the effort the lads are putting in, and we’re preparing exactly the same.

“Nobody has downed tools off the pitch, we’re still doing our gym work, we’re doing all our exercises and what we’ve been doing all season.

“Nothing’s changed really, the intensity levels are still the same but it’s just not happened for us. We’re still eighth in the league and we want to finish eighth - that’s the target.

“We want to get to 50 points. Yeah we’re having a down period, hopefully we can get over that this weekend and reach those two objectives which would be absolutely fantastic.”