Oscar bringing the best out of Albion midfielders

4:27pm Friday 29th November 2013 in Albion By Andy Naylor
Andrew Crofts (right) is on target for his best-ever goal tally.
* It takes time for a new manager, or in Albion's case head coach, to implement his methods.

* Change cannot be expected to happen overnight but you need look no further than the engine room of the Seagulls under Oscar Garcia for evidence that the Spaniard is increasingly getting his message across.

* Andrew Crofts is Albion's top scorer on five goals following his winner at Wigan last Saturday.

* Jake Forster-Caskey, the other advanced member of the midfield triangle, has been on target in two of the last three games.

* Between them they have scored or provided assists for six of the last nine goals in total, a pivotal contribution to Albion's recent improvement.

* It is fundamental to the way Albion set up, first under Gus Poyet and now with Oscar, that the lone centre forward is supported from the centre of the park.

* Crofts and Forster-Caskey have been breaking forward more and more to link with Ashley Barnes in the absence of the injured Leo Ulloa.

* They can do so safe in the knowledge they have protection behind them from the player designated to sit deep - whether that be Rohan Ince as it was at Wigan, Liam Bridcutt or Keith Andrews.

* Crofts, especially, is reaping the benefits. He has already emulated his League tally in his one-season first spell at Albion in 2009-10, when his total was supplemented twice in the FA Cup.

* The Welsh international is also on course to surpass the eight he netted for Norwich the following season and his career-high of nine goals for Gillingham in 2006-07.

* Crofts said: "Goals are a bonus, because I try to bring other things to the game, but for a midfielder to chip in with goals is always a massive thing to have in the team.

* "It's important for us to chip in. You've got the holding midfielder, who allows you to get in the box. You've got that safety net if you like."

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