Confidence can be key to Sessegnon influence
SELF-belief and confidence will bring the best out of Stephane Sessegnon.
That's according to Baggies head coach Alan Irvine, who believes the forward prospered during Albion's second-half against Liverpool a fortnight ago.
Sessegnon also happened to enjoy one of his best games in an Albion shirt in the 2-1 victory at Old Trafford last season.
And Irvine feels the Benin international is more than capable of maintaining his progress in Monday night's televised Barclays Premier League fixture against Manchester United.
“He was one who we certainly saw a difference in from first half to second half at Liverpool," said Irvine.
“At half-time I was thinking he was one of the players I might have to take off.
“Yet within a short time of the second half starting I was thinking ‘there’s no way he’s coming off’ because he was being effective.
“He is the type of player who is only being effective when he’s playing with confidence and self-belief because what he does is hard.
“The players that run with the ball and go past people have the hardest job and I’m not talking as a member of the wingers’ union here!
“I can still go out there and pass it but I couldn’t beat anybody, so it’s something that is really hard to do.
“He’s got to believe in himself and be somebody who wants the ball and thinks ‘I can do this’."
Sessegnon's willingness to take-on players and show invention is one of his best assets, claims Irvine.
"Quite frankly he’s not in the team to make sideways passes," added Irvine.
“He’s in the team to open the door for us. If you haven’t beaten your man a couple of times when you’ve tried it those little seeds of doubt just start to come in and before you know it you can’t do it.
“Beating people is an aggressive action and you can only really be aggressive when you’ve got a positive mindset.
“Without my winger’s hat on, it’s the hardest thing to do, and I would always encourage people like Stephane to take people on and run with the ball.
“All he’s got to do is pick the right moments.
“It would be madness for him to think he’s going to do it every time he gets the ball for a few reasons.
“Firstly you let everyone else know that’s what you’re going to do so they’re ready for it, but also because the circumstances won’t be right most of the time. But he will be encouraged to do it but at the right moments."