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Pressure mounts on Bruce after West Brom held by Luton
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West Brom manager Steve Bruce is under increasing pressure following the draw at home to Luton (Martin Rickett/PA)
West Brom manager Steve Bruce is under increasing pressure following the draw at home to Luton (Martin Rickett/PA)

Steve Bruce’s future as West Brom manager is hanging by a thread as their dreadful start to the season continued with 0-0 draw against Luton on a toxic afternoon at The Hawthorns.

Tensions were high heading into a game where Albion created enough to have won – but were again left ruing those missed opportunities.

The crowd remained behind the Baggies for the majority of the match – that was until late substitutions from Bruce prompted repeated strong calls for the Baggies boss to go, with chants also aimed at the club’s owner Guochuan Lai.

Albion had conceded in the first 15 minutes in seven of their 12 games going into this one but they almost went ahead themselves after just 47 seconds.

Jed Wallace drove forward and crossed for Brandon Thomas-Asante, who turned the ball just wide of the near post before Dara O’Shea headed wide from a corner.

It was the start the Baggies needed, with Thomas-Asante again getting into a dangerous area and flashing the ball across the face of goal.

Wallace then had a tame effort saved by Ethan Horvath as Albion looked the more threatening side in the opening 15 minutes.

Five minutes later, however, Luton should have gone in front with their first chance of the game as Dan Potts’ goal-bound header from a corner was cleared off the line by Okay Yokuslu.

At the other end the chances were beginning to rack up for Albion as Thomas-Asante snatched at an effort after a Jake Livermore deflected shot dropped to him 12 yards out.

Luton were having limited joy going forward as Carlton Morris fired into the side-netting, with Albion the side looking more likely to break the deadlock in the first period.

Bruce’s men came out in a similar fashion in the second with good work from Thomas-Asante feeding Conor Townsend, whose driven effort was tipped around the post by Horvath just seconds in.

O’Shea then glanced over a Grady Diangana corner before Baggies stopper Alex Palmer almost dropped a clanger to hand Luton the lead.

Palmer, making his full home league debut seven years after first being named in a matchday squad, flapped and dropped a cross but the Hatters failed to capitalise.

The Albion keeper then had to be sharp on the hour mark to tip over a deflected Elijah Adebayo effort that was looping in, with Luton having their first real spell on top in the game.

Albion rode it out and went again with Wallace curling wide before supporters broke into a chorus of ‘Bruce out’ after the Albion boss took off both Diangana and Thomas-Asante with 10 minutes to play.

Despite late pressure, West Brom were unable to find a winner meaning they are now eight games without a victory.


West Bromwich AlbionLuton TownChampionship
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