Shropshire Star

Carlos Corberan delighted with Josh Maja West Brom impact

Albion boss Carlos Corberan says it is hard to find a striker in the Championship that links play as well as Josh Maja.

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The forward came on as a 65th-minute substitute in Albion’s 0-0 draw against Bristol City at the weekend and made a big difference to a Baggies side who were not quite at their best in the first half.

When the ball was played into him he showed great quality and control to hold on to it before bringing his team-mates into play.

He linked up well with Brandon Thomas-Asante as Corberan’s side went in search of all three points at Ashton Gate.

And his manager was delighted with his performance and says there is still more to come from the 24-year-old.

He said: “Maja is an excellent striker. He has proved it here in England in other divisions.

“And he is someone with a work ethic and mentality that is not normal for his age.

“Maja is one player that links the game and it is difficult to find a striker that is better than him.

“But like everyone, we always have things that he can improve and things that he can do better.

“Physically, he is more ready now to help the team.”

Maja almost got the winner in added-on time when he was played in by Jeremy Sarmiento but Kal Naismith put in a tackle – which on reflection looked like a penalty.

The defender went through the man to get to the ball and, more importantly, left the forward in a lot of pain on the ground which is a concern for Albion with such a short turnaround until they next play against Watford on Wednesday evening.

He had to be helped off by two members of the Albion support staff at full-time – but Corberan felt his side could have had another penalty when Zak Vyner blocked a shot with his arm.

“This decision, for referees, it’s not easy because you need to decide whether Maja contacted the ball before or whether the defender played it,” he said about the penalty call.

“In this situation, there was one cut-back, the ball arrived to Maja, he made a finish and the only way that the defender managed the defend was with the hands, without intention but with the hands.

“That one was a more clear penalty than the other, but in football when you don’t have the VAR, I only can understand that these things are going to happen in football.

“Sometimes you suffer the consequences, sometimes it goes the other way. I want the fair things. If I want a penalty, I want the referee to give the penalty because it is.

“If we create a penalty then I’d like the referee to give the penalty that we deserve.”