Super Eagles and West Brom defensive midfielder Semi Ajayi is expected to maintain 100% focus as the Championship side host Leeds United on New Year eve.
Although the Nigerian has been pulling weight and doing his best in recent matches, appreciative WestBrom boss Slaven Bilic insists Ajayi and his teammates should not lose focus noting that momentary loss of focus could spell doom for the team who currently occupy the second position below Championship table toppers Leeds United
Leeds have taken over at the top of the table on goal difference, with West Brom failing to win any of their past three matches.
Both sides still have a healthy nine-point lead over third-placed Fulham but, after good winning runs throughout November, neither have been consistent in recent weeks.
“The league is very long and you know you cannot lose the focus because it happens every year,” Bilic said at his pre-match press conference.
“If you lose the focus, commitment or quality – four or five per cent – then you are gone.
“Sometimes you can get lucky, but normally you pay the price for that.”
Leeds’ pulsating 5-4 win over Birmingham on Sunday was their first in four games.
But Bilic says Marcelo Bielsa’s side have, like Albion, been galvanised by suffering semi-final play-off agony last season.
“They experienced something quite painful last year, they lost in the worst possible way,” Bilic said.
“We did the same last season, you are there and then we lost it in the play-offs.
“They learn from their mistakes, you are double aware, double focused and that’s definitely one of the reasons we are there with them and they with us.”
Leeds, who hope to have striker Patrick Bamford fit again, have not won at The Hawthorns since 2002 and have lost on their past three visits, including a 4-1 defeat last season, a record Ajayi and his teammates will like to see continue.