West Bromwich Albion are now seven points clear in the Championship after Hal Robson-Kanu and Jake Livermore scored at The Hawthorns.

Preston North End boss Alex Neil believes West Bromwich Albion’s ‘really threatening’ front line proved to be the difference during their 2-0 defeat at the Hawthorns on Tuesday night, speaking to LancsLive.

With five wins in their last six Championship games, a run of form which has lifted them seven points clear in top spot, it’s fair to say Slaven Bilic’s Baggies have bounced back in style from their festive famine.

However, with a front four of Hal Robson-Kanu, Callum Robinson, Matheus Pereira and Filip Krovinovic, West Brom’s recent struggles were never likely to go on forever.

The league’s most potent attack has clicked ominously into gear again and put Preston to the sword at the Hawthorns. Sheffield United loanee Robinson set up Robson-Kanu’s 12 of the goal early on before the latter turned provider, laying the ball off for Jake Livermore to fizz home, capping a win which was far more comfortable than the scoreline suggests.

And Neil, gracious in defeat, has accepted that there was little he could do to stop the Baggies’ own ‘magic square’ from pulling the odd rabbit out of the hat.

“I didn’t think we played poorly. The biggest difference is when you look at their front four, who were really threatening,” said a coach who was tipped to take over at West Brom before Bilic’s appointment last summer.

“As a front four though I’m not sure there’ll be any better in the league. I thought they deserved to win there’s no questions about that.”

Sporting Lisbon loanee Pereira failed to add to his table-topping 16 assists against Preston but some of his touches on the night were nothing short of breathtaking. One sublime through ball in the first half was straight out of the David Silva playbook.

Regardless of whether West Brom are promoted or not, Bilic and co will surely be doing all they can to snap up Pereira, Krovinovic and Robinson on a permanent basis.

In other news, Leeds United could reportedly get ‘class’ defender for free