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Interviews

Dan's the man, says Alan

10 February 2018

BOSS Alan Pardew has been talking about the difference Daniel Sturridge can make as Albion prepare for one of the Premier League's major challenges on Monday night.

The Baggies have had some tough luck at Stamford Bridge down the years which have denied them victory. But they try again to topple Chelsea on the champions' home patch in front of live TV cameras.

Albion's Head Coach is relieved that Jonny Evans, Kieran Gibbs and Grzegorz Krychowiak are all available again after missing last week's clash against Southampton. But he knows it is the return of Sturridge to one of his former clubs which will be the talk of the game pre-match.

He maintains the on-loan Liverpool striker is a player who can make all the difference in the steepening survival battle.

He said: "Our recent run of results have been okay apart from that Southampton game. I think this team is in danger because we've drawn too many games. If you examine our record of defeats, it is the same and in some cases better than the group of teams above us. It is the draws that are going to determined whether we stay in this division.

"Daniels Sturridge has come in to help us change that. All the readings I have given to me by the scientific team are positive. His heart rate is good, his recovery is good, his acceleration . . . and he is scoring goals in training that no one else can score.

"But it's that little extra that comes from game time which is really difficult to assess. How you read and react to certain situations. You can't replicate that with sports science. That comes with game time and I know I have got to manage that.

"I've been a manager many, many times when I've wanted a striker to be there to make the difference, someone who can get you a goal out of nothing and turn 1-1 into 2-1 or get that second goal. It's that player who makes a difference and in Daniel we have one."

Chelsea have suffered a sudden disturbance in their flow of results with back-to-back defeats against Bournemouth and Watford. Not many will give Albion the chance of making it three in a row. But Pardew is not one of them.

"We have to consider every game as a winnable game and we will go there to get a victory, no question," Alan added.

"We are better prepared than we were for Southampton in terms of players available because my hand will certainly be stronger with players available who were missing last week.

"Chelsea obviously have got fantastic players who can blow you away at any moment. But even fantastic players need confidence and momentum. They will be looking to get that back against us."


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