West Bromwich Albion need mental strength - James Morrison

Two of Albion's five defeats in six games have come from last-minute winners after James Morrison has been substituted
Two of Albion's five defeats in six games have come from last-minute winners after Morrison has been subbed

West Brom midfielder James Morrison says his team must find greater mental strength to escape the relegation scrap they now find themselves in.

After losing just once in their first 10 games under Tony Pulis, four defeats in five Premier League matches have plunged the Baggies back to within seven points of the danger zone.

"We've massive games ahead. It's going to be hard," Morrison told BBC WM 95.6.

"Our confidence is low, but it's all about having the mental strength now."

Top of the form test for Pulis
Five of the six remaining teams that Albion have to play are currently in the top five of the Premier League form table in order 1. Arsenal 2. Manchester United 3. Crystal Palace 4. Chelsea 5. Liverpool
Fixtures left: 18 April - Palace (a), 25 April - Liverpool (h), 2 May - Man Utd (a), 9 May - Newcastle (a), 18 May - Chelsea (h), 24 May - Arsenal (a)

The 28-year-old Scotland international, in his eighth season at the Albion, was part of the last Baggies side to go up under Roberto Di Matteo five years ago, since when Albion have generally been used to experiencing relative end-of-season comfort.

Only in their first season back in the top flight, when Roy Hodgson came in to take them away from the relegation zone, and last season, when they finished just one place clear of the drop, have Albion fans endured any real cause for alarm.

But, on top of their recent run, in which they were also knocked out of the FA Cup, they now face a tough final six-match run-in.

It involves meetings with the Premier League's current top three, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, as well as a visit of Liverpool, a trip to Newcastle and this Saturday's match at Pulis's former club Crystal Palace.

"Palace is probably the one place where no-one wants to go," Morrison said. "Look what happened to Man City there and then they won away at Sunderland.

Albion in the Premier League
2009-10: Promoted
2010-11: 11th (47 points)
2011-12: 10th (47 points)
2012-13: 8th (49 points)
2013-14: 17th (36 points)
2014-15: 14th (33 points, from 32 games)

"They're in fine form and they've got some good players. But we got ourselves in this awful position and we've got to get out of it by ourselves, no-one else."

Morrison was particularly sad that Albion's latest defeat, a 3-2 loss at home to Leicester City on Saturday, should have sullied an otherwise memorable day.

It was Jeff Astle Day at The Hawthorns, as the fans celebrated the life of the legendary Baggies centre-forward, the man they called "The King".

"It was so disappointing to let the fans down on such an occasion," Morrison added.

"Even in the QPR game, we played quite well, created shedloads of chances, didn't take them and found ourselves losing 4-1.

"But to be twice ahead in Saturday's game, on top for 60 minutes, then to twice let it slip and lose in the last minute was terrible. All three goals were shocking defending."

Tribute to The King at The Hawthorns
Albion fans' tribute on the Birmingham Road End to former number nine Jeff Astle - in the ninth minute

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