Preston North End 1-0 West Bromwich Albion – Defeat increases pressure on Steve Bruce

Preston North End 1-0 West Bromwich Albion - Defeat increases pressure on Steve Bruce

Steve Bruce has overseen just eight wins in 31 games in charge of West Brom

Further pressure was heaped on West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Bruce after defeat at Preston North End saw the Baggies slip in the relegation places.

Emil Riis puts a fine cross from Manchester United loanee Alvaro Fernandez to turn home the early winner for the hosts.

Preston, who had scored just once in six home games before the Baggies visit, fully deserved the lead after making a fast start, which saw Sean Maguire test Alex Palmer and Alistair McCann have a follow-up effort cleared off the line.

Lilywhites goalkeeper Freddie Woodman made a string of second-half saves, the best of which was to deny Karlan Grant, to leave Bruce’s Baggies winless in eight games in all competitions.

Bruce, who has overseen just eight wins out of 31 matches since he replaced Valerien Ismael at The Hawthorns in February, has spoken about needing to keep “bashing away” to improve results.

The ex-Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Birmingham City boss made six changes from the side beaten by Swansea on Saturday as they visited a Preston team that was winless in six games at home so far, and who had managed to score just three goals in 11 league games this season.

The Lilywhites showed plenty of early intent to add to that measly tally, with Maguire demanding a good save from Palmer – who was making his first league appearance for the Baggies at the age of 26 – before McCann was kept out from the rebound.

Riis put Preston ahead with a well-taken finish in the seventh minute and they could have had more before the break, with Maguire sending a shot just wide on the turn from outside the box before McCann saw an effort come off the post.

While Grady Diangana was just off target in search of a quick response to Riis’ goal, West Brom had to wait until the 43rd minute for their first shot on goal, with Jed Wallace testing Woodman before John Swift did the same a minute later.

Woodman was instrumental in ensuring Preston ended their four-game winless run, as he saved well from Grant after the striker was set free on goal by a fine pass from Swift, before going on to deal with a tame effort from Tom Rogic.

Line-ups

Preston

Training 3-5-2

  • 1Woodman
  • 14StoreyBooked at 90mins
  • 6Lindsay
  • 3Cunningham
  • 8BrowneSubstituted forPottsdid 68′minutes
  • 11BradySubstituted forLedsondid 73′minutes
  • 4WhitemanBooked at 52mins
  • 13McCann
  • 2Fernandez
  • 19laughSubstituted forparrottdid 85′minutes
  • 24MaguireSubstituted forWoodburndid 74′minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Johnson
  • 15parrott
  • 16Hughes
  • 18Ledson
  • 20Woodburn
  • 25Cornell
  • 44Potts

West Brom

Training 4-2-3-1

  • 24Palmer
  • 29Gardner–Hickman
  • 16Kelly
  • 4O’Shea
  • 3Townsend
  • 14MolumbySubstituted forRogicdid 58′minutes
  • 35YokusluSubstituted forLivermoredid 58′minutes
  • 17J Wallace
  • 19SwiftSubstituted forPhillipsdid 74′minutes
  • 11DianganaBooked at 84mins
  • 18grantSubstituted forThomas Asantedid 72′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1button
  • 7Rogic
  • 8Livermore
  • 10Phillips
  • 15Peters
  • 20reach
  • 21Thomas Asante

Referee:
Josh Smith

Waiting:
13,924

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