West Brom boss Tony Pulis admits his players have been at “maximum” in recent months and is expecting another tough night against Manchester City.
The Baggies head to the Etihad on Tuesday on the back of Friday’s 1-0 defeat to champions Chelsea, a game in which they enjoyed long spells of possession but failed to provide any real cutting edge.
In fact that has been their problem in recent months, as having excelled during the opening half of the campaign, Pulis’ men have won only one of their last 10 in the Premier League.
Despite managing to hold on to eighth in the table, they are a full 16 points behind Everton who are directly above them and life does not get any easier, with City next on the agenda.
The Citizens are still chasing a top-four place and are the massive 1.15 favourites to win on Tuesday, with the draw 8.00 and Albion the 21.00 outsiders.
A victory at the Etihad would be a huge upset and Pulis himself has appeared downbeat about their chances of getting one over on Pep Guardiola’s men.
The Welshman has praised the commitment of his troops in recent months, but with him feeling that their energy for the season is now almost spent, he has conceded that his players are likely to have another tough night ahead of them.
He told reporters: “Man City are an excellent side with excellent players. We know how tough it’ll be. Their team is full of quality.
“I can’t criticise the players. Everybody has been playing at maximum. Friday showed that. We fell short in final third.”