Steve Bruce looks ahead to Easter weekend fixtures

Bruce pre-Blackpool

Steve Bruce says it’s imperative Albion try and finish as high up the Sky Bet Championship table as possible.

The Baggies have five fixtures remaining, starting with an Easter weekend double-header against Blackpool at The Hawthorns on Good Friday before travelling to Nottingham Forest on Monday.

Bruce’s side head into the latest round of matches sitting 12th in the division and off the back of a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Stoke City last weekend on home soil.

The boss accepts his side haven’t picked up enough positive results this season and has challenged the players to go out and end the season “strongly”.

Bruce Stoke arrival

Bruce said: “We’ve got to try and finish as high as we possibly can.

“Anyone associated with this football club will look at where we are, halfway down the division, and they won’t accept it.

“We need to address that by finishing as high as we possibly can.

“We’ve got five games left, starting with Blackpool on Friday and then Nottingham Forest on Monday.

“It’s a difficult period for us, but we need to go and finish strongly.

“Everyone is disappointed, I know I certainly am, that we haven’t picked up enough results. We need to get some results in these last five games and then we’ve got a big summer ahead of us.”

Bruce Blackburn

Friday’s guests Blackpool have enjoyed a successful first year back in the second tier and are comfortably clear of danger, while Monday’s hosts Forest are in the thick of a promotion battle.

And Bruce is expecting two really challenging tests this weekend.

“Blackpool have done fantastically well and they’ve got their house in order having been in turmoil for years.

“I can only say congratulations to the manager Neil Critchley for getting them promoted and then also keeping them in the Championship. It’s a fantastic achievement.

“After Blackpool we travel to Forest who I think are a threat to everybody in this division.

“They’ve done really well in January and the new manager has done a remarkable job there, so they’ll both be really tough games.”

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