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OPINION: West Brom are more than capable of achieving Championship Playoffs after 1-0 win over Fulham

At the beginning of the season, fresh from Premier League relegation, playoffs were seen as bare minimum for a West Brom side that surely contained enough quality to challenge for the automatic places. Now, it would be something of a miracle if the Black Country side were able to sneak into 6th place. But it’s possible.

The torrid run of form that saw the Baggies free fall all the way to 14th place, suffering multiple losses a week and a complete lack of ability in front of goal, seems to be at its conclusion. The performance and victory over the Championship’s premier side, Fulham, proves that. The question is: have they left it too late?

The simple answer would be no, they are just six points from the playoff places with a healthy nine games remaining to gain that ground. However, the teams ahead of the Baggies are no joke.

Huddersfield are unbeaten in 17 league matches; Blackburn under Tony Mobray look a different beast; QPR are a slick, well managed side and Middlesbrough are flying under the manager West Brom probably should have appointed in the summer. All four of those current playoff sides boast 17 wins each.

A reported disagreement between Wilder and Baggies owner Guochuan Lai led to him not getting the job

However, the win against Fulham last night showed a real intent and confidence to a side that has been desperately lacking both since the start of 2022. Coming back from two goals down with five minutes to go against Huddersfield on Friday also showed that this side has a bit about it.

Speaking to, Steve Bruce said: “I was delighted for everyone tonight. It’s been tough of late and we haven’t got to the levels which we should’ve got to. Tonight we made big strides forward.

“I’ve told the players we need to keep to that level of performance because the fans are right behind us when they see it.”

Steve Bruce talks to the media about Albion’s performance and fight

The key point in Bruce’s comments here is about the fans, who were in wonderful voice last night as their side beat the league leaders. It comes after a distinct period of toxicity at the Hawthorns caused by the poor results.

A great performance and richly deserved win over a team like Fulham can undo months of building discontent within the squad and the fanbase, but now West Brom must achieve something they haven’t for a very long time: consistency.

West Brom could have won the game by three or four goals if not for a good performance by Fulham ‘keeper Marek Rodák

With the crowd behind them and confidence clearly at its highest point since early in the season, this Baggies side is equipped with all the tools it needs for a late playoffs charge.

Bruce’s side must now follow this win with another at Ashton Gate on Saturday. 19th placed Bristol City have been poor this season and have an incredibly thin squad, but they proved to be a banana skin for Blackburn last Saturday as they snatched all three points at the death.

If the Baggies can do that, they go into April with a real chance of turning a so-far disappointing season on its head. With the players they have and the backing of the fans, a playoff run is well on the cards for West Brom.

To stay up-to date with the latest sporting news from the Championship, as well as the build-up for today’s day of Cheltenham Festival, make sure you stay tuned into the Park Life Sports Live Blog!

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