WBA defender’s promotion faith never wavered

West Bromwich

West Bromwich Albion defender Semi Ajayi says he never doubted that his team would rediscover their form during their recent poor run.

Ajayi and his fellow Baggies shone in the opening months of the season but dramatically lost form after winning 3-2 at local rivals Birmingham on December 14.

Seven games without defeat would usually have cost them dear but the inconsistency of the teams below them, namely fellow automatic promotion chasers Leeds, meant they stayed in the mix.

Last weekend’s 2-0 win over Luton, in which the defender scored his fifth goal of the season, lifted them back to the top of the standings due to Leeds’ 1-0 loss to Wigan and they will again need to be at their best on Sunday away at Millwall.

Slaven Bilic did his best to remain upbeat during the slump and Ajayi says the strong characters in the squad were key to them turning things around.

The 26-year-old, who signed from Rotherham in the summer, has flourished at The Hawthorns and appears to have the attributes to step into the Premier League.

After bouncing back last week, the Nigerian international has said that he never thought his team would fail in their promotion bid and is pleased that their hard work during the tough times has started to pay off.

“We can’t be great players when we win and then all of a sudden turn into bad players because we lost,” Ajayi is quoted as saying by the Express & Star. “You need to put things into perspective and keep a cool head in those types of situations.

“We’ve got a very strong group and some very strong characters in there who have been able to deal with that pressure and criticism and were able to bounce back.”