‘We know this game is going to be like a final’ – West Brom boss ready for play-off test

Carlos Corberan insists West Brom will be treating Friday’s clash at Southampton “like a final” after a goalless first leg of their play-off semi-final.

Both teams had chances to open the scoring at The Hawthorns, with Grady Diangana twice denied by Saints goalkeeper Alex McCarthy.

West Brom will have to do something they have failed to do so far this season and beat Southampton, with Russell Martin’s side doing the league double over them.

But Corberan says his side will give it everything to advance to the Wembley showpiece on Sunday 25 May.

Corberan told the club’s website: “We know this game is going to be like a final so we have to give our best on the football pitch.

“I know that every single player who will be involved has proved their commitment to the team this season.

“Our team is together and committed. They will go to the pitch and give their best. We are full of confidence in our ability but we know we are going to have to work very hard.

“We know our level of resilience has to be the maximum, but we also know how big the club we represent is. We’ll give our best.”

Corberan expects the St Mary’s clash to be played in a similar style to the first game but is aware his team could be under the cosh a lot more away from home.

He added: “I think it’s going to be a similar game on Friday to the one we all saw on Sunday at The Hawthorns.

“Southampton are a team built to have possession of the ball in terms of the players they have and the style they play with. I expect them to try and have the ball all of the time.

“The fact they are playing at home will increase the mental challenge of the game because we have to approach it with a strong mentality to manage the first minutes of the game when we expect to be under pressure and throughout difficult moments.”

West Brom will be backed by a sold-out travelling contingent of 2,000 fans in Hampshire and Corberan talked about how important their presence will be come Friday evening.

“Our fans can help us a lot,” he said. “We know they are going to be there with us, suffering in difficult moments and enjoying themselves.

“It’s important to know that you are not alone when you are in good moments or complicated ones on the pitch. We will not be alone on Friday. We have lots of people who will be with us down at Southampton and we have lots of people who we can make really happy.

“It’s important to know this. I know the 2,000 people who will be there supporting us will be supporting us like if there was 20,000 people there.”

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