Steve Bruce is considering a change in West Bromwich Albion’s formation ahead of their upcoming Championship fixture.
In recent comments cited by The Express & Star, the 61-year-old Albion boss revealed that, after failing to score a single goal in the two fixtures since he took over from Valerien Ismael in the West Brom dugout, the Baggies could change their setup against Luton Town this weekend.
Regarding his tactical setup, Bruce said: “There are plenty of positives but I have to look at the situation to see if 4-3-3 really suits us with what we have available because we have to find a way of creating more opportunities in the final third.”
When asked whether West Brom should be utilising a system more suited to Andy Carroll’s strengths, the former Newcastle United manager added: “We need to get more crosses into the box and get more players closer to him – it’s all those things.
“We will analyse it – we have only been here a few days. We have been working on something that we thought might suit. But we haven’t been doing enough, we have to work better in the final third.”
Considering how rigid Ismael was in the way he set his West Brom side up regardless of the results his team were achieving, the news that Bruce is already considering a shift in formation after just two games is sure to have left The Hawthorns faithful buzzing.
Indeed, in all but one of the Frenchman’s 29 Championship fixtures in charge of the Baggies, the 46-year-old set Albion up in a variation of a 3-4-3 formation, with the only fixture in which the former Barnsley boss deviated from this system coming in what was arguably the club’s best result under his leadership – a 4-0 win over Sheffield United, in which West Brom lined up in a 5-3-2.
As such, considering Bruce’s desire to get a second body closer to Carroll, as well as his wish for the Baggies’ wide players to get more crosses into the box, it would appear a very smart move by the 61-year-old to deploy his side in a 5-2-3 once again against Luton on Saturday – as this switch would easily satisfy both of the manager’s criteria.