(REUTERS) - Watching West Bromwich Albion struggle in the English Premier League has pained Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku and the Belgian hopes his former club will learn from the mistakes of a dismal campaign and improve next season.
West Brom are bottom of the standings with 21 points and in danger of dropping to the Championship. Lukaku, who scored 17 league goals for West Brom during a loan spell from Chelsea in 2012-13, does not want his old side to suffer that fate.
"It's a painful one for me, because a few of those guys are my friends, so it's hard for me to see them in that position," he told United's website ahead of Sunday's league clash between the two teams at Old Trafford.
"Sometimes it's good to take a step back and bounce... learn from it and try and improve on it. I hope they don't go down and that they can learn from the mistakes that they made," he added.
Following the departure of manager Alan Pardew earlier this month, West Brom sacked technical director Nick Hammond as part of a restructuring plan.
The club also fired chairman John Williams and chief executive Martin Goodman in February following the team's poor performances this season.
West Brom have three wins this season, the last of which came in January. They have lost eight of the last 10 games and drew their previous match against Swansea under caretaker boss Darren Moore.
A loss to United will almost certainly condemn them to relegation.
"I don't know what their problem has been this season," Lukaku added.
"You only watch the highlights, so you don't know what's happening in their game, but I just hope they find the key to success for the Premier League."
United are second in the table with 71 points.