Shropshire Star

Hull v West Brom: Carlos Corberan lays down demand to players in race for play-offs

Carlos Corberan is demanding no let-up from Albion after predicting the Championship play-off race will go to the wire.


The fifth-placed Baggies head into tomorrow’s clash against fellow contenders Hull with a four-point cushion to seventh but Corberan has dismissed that gap as “nothing” and urged his team to maintain focus during what he expects to be a fierce fight to the finish.

“It is important but four points, unfortunately now, is nothing,” said the Albion boss. “We know how difficult this season is going to be.

“We are playing for two places in the play-offs and it is going to be a real, real battle where you need to resist when you open up a gap and you also cannot give up should you fall out of those positions.

“From fifth position to 10th position we are a group of teams who are going to compete a lot until the end. The team which finds the best performances will achieve a play-off position. The team which does not fight until the last moment, either because they relax because they think they are there or because they think it is too far will not achieve.

“The key is to have a strong mentality to fight every single game to win. That is how you achieve something.”

Albion will need to be on their mettle against a Hull team who rank among the Championship’s most in-form sides, having won five of their last six to leap into sixth position.

That includes a run of three straight away 2-1 victories for Liam Rosenior’s men, the most recent at Southampton on Tuesday night where they became just the second team in 27 matches to beat the Saints.

The Baggies had an impressive midweek win of their own at Plymouth and the hope is that result can be a catalyst to improve their away form with four of the next six fixtures coming on the road.

Corberan is facing something of a selection dilemma, with Grady Diangana pushing for more minutes and on loan winger Mikey Johnston having done his case to start no harm after scoring a superb goal coming off the bench in Devon.

Tuesday also saw a first league start since November for Nathaniel Chalobah and though the smart money is on Okay Yokuslu returning to the starting XI at Hull, Corberan was encouraged by the former’s performance.

“I think previously for different reasons he didn’t find the continuity which players need to perform,” he said.

“Sometimes it is because of a small injury or perhaps because other players are playing with consistency in this position.

“He played in the first XI twice in the cup. The most recent was against Wolves at home.

“I think that and the minutes he’s had playing from the bench has helped him to grow because there is no doubt he is a very good player.

“Sometimes players just don’t find the consistency enough to show it.”