Mowbray hopes Fortune's impact will prove telling

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The Independent Football

Tony Mowbray is backing West Bromwich's new strike duo of Jay Simpson and Marc-Antoine Fortune to provide sufficient goalpower to give the Baggies a realistic chance of Premier League survival.

Fortune, on loan from Nancy for the remainder of the season, has scored three times in four games. Simpson, who has made the temporary move from Arsenal until May, has caused problems for rivals with his pace and trickery, and netted his first top-flight goal in the draw against Hull in Albion's last away game.

Mowbray said: "Fortune and Simpson have made a big impact. Without those two we didn't score many goals and if you can't score, you can't win. Simpson and Fortune can both score goals and pose problems. I've got no problems now with the attacking side of our game. Generally, I think we have sorted that side of our game out with the signings we have made."

Mowbray's chief concern now is to tighten up his injury-hit defence after a mistake-riddled performance in the 3-2 home defeat against Newcastle at the weekend. Players such as Abdoulaye Méïté, Jonas Olsson, Ryan Donk, Leon Barnett and Neil Clement have all been on the sidelines.

Mowbray said: "The attacking side of the team is healthier now and let's hope in the next couple of weeks that we can get the back four back fit and up to speed and doing their jobs. When both of those two departments start to function you have obviously got a better chance and will win some games."

Olsson has targeted this month's Premier League match at Everton for his return from a knee injury. The £800,000 summer signing from NEC Nijmegen has missed Albion's last seven matches with what was initially feared to be tendinitis. The problem has been caused by inflammation but the former Sweden Under-21 player is optimistic he will be available for the trip to Goodison Park on February 28.

He said: "I have made progress and am feeling a lot better. It is the longest spell I have been out injured since I turned professional seven years ago. I think before this I had only missed two or three games through injury. It has been frustrating but I hope I will be back soon."

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