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Under-21s hoping to extend eight-game unbeaten league run

22 February 2015

Youngsters welcome Bolton on Monday

ALBION Under-21s will be looking to extend their unbeaten run to nine league games when they host Bolton Wanderers on Monday afternoon at the training ground (1pm ko).

The Baggies’ impressive recent form has seen them climb to just one point off the top of the Barclays U21 Premier League division two table.

Loan moves for Liam O’Neil, Kemar Roofe, Jack Rose, Wesley Atkinson, Donervorn Daniels and Bradley Garmston have done little to hamper James Shan’s side’s surge.

And the Under-21 Coach admitted the eight-match unbeaten record is a fantastic achievement for his players, but insists they must keep working hard.

“To go eight games unbeaten at any level is a great achievement and one which should not go unnoticed,” said Shan.

“I am really proud of my players.

“Part of their development is learning how to win games, and also learning how to stay solid and not get beaten.

“They have shown some real intelligence, grit and resilience during this run.

“We have also kept three clean sheets in that time too, which is always pleasing.

“Bolton are a very well organised team, and the last time that we played them it was a terrific contest and also quite an open, exciting game.”

Just five points separate The Trotters in seventh and league leaders Newcastle United, with Albion currently occupying fourth spot.

The progression of players from the Under-21 squad into the first-team is the main target for Shan, but winning as many games as possible and pushing for promotion into division one are also high on his list of priorities.

“The league is very tight at the moment, and in our last three games we have had the opportunity to go top,” said the Under-21 boss.

“The ultimate aim is to develop players so that they play in our first-team.

“Saying that, both as a group and individually, we are winners and we are determined to win as many games as we can and finish as high up the league as possible.

“To people looking in from the outside, our season will either be deemed a successful one or an unsuccessful one depending on where we finish in the league, so we want to try and aim for a promotion spot.

“Should we produce players that can or will play Premier League football, we will have had a fantastic season.”

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