Sam Allardyce insists Tottenham’s three-game losing streak will not benefit his West Brom strugglers on Sunday.
Albion head to London with the spotlight firmly on Spurs manager Jose Mourinho after successive Premier League defeats to Liverpool, Brighton and Chelsea and criticism over the team’s style of play.
Allardyce is expecting changes to the Tottenham team given the heavy demands of the fixture list, but he remains more focused on finding the result that can spark West Brom’s relegation battle.
“I know the fight Jose will put in the side to overcome those three defeats, it doesn’t make it easy for us,” said Allardyce, who has overseen only one win in 10 games since his December appointment.
“They played Chelsea who have spent over £200million on the team, they would expect it would be a tough game.
“Our only look at the facts is that they don’t have Harry Kane, who is a big loss for them.
“I think they’ll change the system and the team because of their (fixture) load, so we can’t predict what the team might be.
“But my concern is our players needing to play at their best at a more consistent level.
“We see it at certain points of the game, but then we see lapses of concentration which ultimately cost us goals which could have been avoided.
“We have to try and cut that. I’ve been at that from day one and will be at it from now until the end of the season about certain moments in the game.”
Allardyce and Mourinho have crossed swords on many occasions in the Premier League in the past, memorably at times.
After Mourinho complained of negative tactics following a 0-0 draw between Chelsea and West Ham in January 2014, Allardyce replied: “He can’t take it because we’ve out-tacticked him, outwitted him.”
Reflecting on past battles, Allardyce said: “Sometimes when you’re the underdog and it pays off there’s some obvious delight in that.
“But the big thing is not what I’m doing against Jose, or what Jose’s doing against me.
“The big thing is the concentration of the team and getting a result, that’s the ultimate focus and saying to the players this is the best way.
“We present that and they go and do it the best way they can, not making too many errors in the wrong parts of the pitch.”
Ainsley Maitland-Niles, a deadline-day loan signing from Arsenal, will start on Sunday as the England international makes a swift return to north London.
Turkey midfielder Okay Yokuslu also made a belated arrival at Albion’s training ground on Friday following the receipt of his work visa.
“There was a bit of a delay on his work visa but we finally managed to get it sorted out,” Allardyce said of Yokuslu’s loan switch from Celta Vigo.
“He had to go to Barcelona for it and there’ll be a bit of assessment on him.
“Hopefully if he can join in training today and tomorrow, and we’ll have a chat with him, we could involve him in the squad. New players will be very important for us going forward.”