Chris Brunt has admitted West Bromwich Albion will now have to pull off the “greatest of great escapes” if they are to survive the drop from the Premier League this season.
The Baggies are bottom of the table and eight points clear of safety with just nine games remaining. It appears they are heading for the Championship unless they can dramatically turn their form around in what’s left of the season.
Alan Pardew’s appointment at the end of November in place of Tony Pulis has failed to have the desired effect in galvanising the side and his position remains under threat after only winning one game since being in charge at the Hawthorns.
Albion famously pulled off an escape act in 2005 when they became the first club to stay up after being bottom of the Premier League at Christmas, but Brunt believes if they manage it this year it would eclipse even that triumph.
He told the Express & Star: “If we managed it, it would be the greatest of great escapes. But until it’s mathematically impossible you’ve got to keep striving.”
“Things aren’t in our hands now. We need snookers. But it’s up to us to go out there and keep working hard.”
West Brom have lost their last five top-flight games and take on Leicester this weekend in a clash Brunt admits is “massive”. Following the meeting with the Foxes, they take on Bournemouth, Burnley and Swansea in equally big games and Brunt is refusing to throw in the towel just yet.
“Next week we play Leicester and that is massive,” he added. “We’ll be doing our best to put it right. You can’t give up until somebody tells you you’re gone.
“There are nine games still to go. There’s a lot of points to play for. It’s been a long, hard season for everybody. It hurts.”