Shropshire Star

Sam Allardyce expresses disappointment following West Brom relegation

Sam Allardyce could not hide his disappointment after Albion’s relegation to the Premier League was confirmed following defeat at Arsenal.

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In a match that summed up the Baggies since the 66-year-old took charge, Albion played well for long spells at The Emirates stadium.

But their failure to capitalise when on top eventually saw them fall to a 3-1 defeat, a result that ensured they have been relegated with three games to spare.

And speaking post-match, a crestfallen Allardyce said he is hugely disappointed that he hasn’t been able to take Albion’s survival fight to the final day.

“I’m pleased with the players because they gave a big effort,” the boss said.

“But we have to accept against Arsenal, and over the course of the season, we haven't quite been good enough.

“Certainly since January, we have given it our best shot. Performances have improved, but not the results.

“We gave it everything we have got against Arsenal but, just like the rest of the season, it wasn't quite good enough.

“The 3-1 scoreline flattered them and it's a difficult end to the season now with three games still to play.

“I wanted to take it to the last day.

“I'm not saying we would have avoided relegation but we should have been closer, we should have taken it down to the last three games, based on how we performed. The creating of chances has been there but the converting has not.”

Matheus Pereira scored a magical goal at The Emirates with the Brazilian first picking the ball up around 50-yards from goal.

He then carried it to the edge of the box before firing a low drive past Bernd Leno.

But now relegation has been confirmed, Allardyce admitted it is unlikely the playmaker will be an Albion player next season.

“Probably not,” the boss said when asked if Albion can keep Pereira for another year.

“I hope I am not speaking out of turn.

“It is not my responsibility or my decision. I'd have a say in it perhaps.

“But I think in the position the club is in, they will find it very difficult if the right offer comes in to keep a player of his quality.”

Allardyce had famously never been relegated from the Premier League before with the 66-year-old having previously defied the odds to keep the likes of Bolton, Blackburn, Sunderland and Crystal Palace in the division.

Asked how he felt to be relegated, he simply said: “Words can't describe it.”

When Allardyce replaced Slaven Bilic as boss back in December, he signed an 18-month contract that gave both him and Albion the opportunity to part ways this summer if relegation did happen.

The Dudley-born chief refused to take questions on his future post match but has said in the past he would like to stay if he is given a budget that will allow him to get the Baggies back into the Premier League at the first time of asking.

And skipper Kyle Bartley said he too is determined to see the club secure an immediate return to the top flight.

“We’re all massively disappointed,” the defender said.

“It is time to focus on these next three games, get as much momentum as possible to make sure we come straight back up next season.

"Hopefully we can get the manager situation sorted out as soon as possible.

"We need to try and take as much momentum into next season as possible."

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