x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

West Brom urged to have faith

The Austrian defender is calling on his teammates to keep their nerve after a fourth defeat in a row.

Paul Scharner has urged West Bromwich Albion to retain their self-belief despite suffering their worst Premier League run of the season.

Saturday's home defeat to Manchester United was their fourth in a row and means Roberto Di Matteo's men have now collected just seven points from 11 games after making an excellent start on their top-flight return.

Another loss at Fulham tonight would really leave them in trouble at a time when likely drop candidates West Ham United have started to find some form.

Little wonder Scharner, the Austrian defender, is calling on his teammates to keep their nerve.

"The mental side of the game is even more important now than it has ever been," he said.

"You have to be able to cope with all of the pressure because every small detail on the field matters.

"Everyone in the Premier League is fit enough to compete. They are strong and, most times, they are technically good.

"But there is another dimension. There is another five to 15 per cent that comes from your belief and that can be the difference over the other team."

The Baggies will need all that belief just now as Di Matteo tries to juggle with a growing injury crisis.

In addition to Gabriel Tamas, a defender who must serve the second match of a three-game ban, West Brom are likely to be without fellow defender Pablo Ibanez and Steven Reid, the midfielder, tonight after both men limped out of the United tussle.

The one bit of good news for Albion is the return of Gonzalo Jara, the Chilean defender, from a one-match ban as they prepare to visit a ground where they have not won a league game since 1967.