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Albion U21s aim to get back to winning ways

30 March 2015

Baggies host Blackburn tonight at The Hawthorns (7pm ko)

***Fans can pay on the gate at the West Stand. Entry is free for season ticket holders, £5 adults and £3 concessions.

JAMES Shan has set his Albion Under-21 side the target of winning all six of their remaining fixtures to give themselves a shot at promotion from Barclays U21 Premier League Division 2.

The Baggies have seen back-to-back defeats take the wind out of their promotion aspirations following a nine-match unbeaten sequence.

Shan's side now sit fourth in the table but are only four points adrift of the top two amid a congested battle to grab promotion to Division 1.

Second-bottom Blackburn are the visitors to The Hawthorns tonight (7pm ko) but Shan knows his side cannot afford to be complacent as they look to finish the season with a flourish and claim one the top two spots.

“We’ve spoken to the lads after the last two performances and, as a group, we know it hasn’t been good enough.

“We try to get the balance between development and winning and we’ve just said look, ‘we’ve got six games remaining, if we’re going to get promoted then the chances are we’re going to have to win all six’.

“So most definitely, on the agenda tonight is trying to get all three points.

“Middlesbrough have gone nine points clear of us at the top, Derby are second and four points clear of us, Arsenal are one point behind but have got two games in hand.

“The beauty is that we’ve got to play all of those teams in and around us and I think they’ll each be like FA Cup finals.” 

Regarding Blackburn, Shan added: “If you look at the Under-21 league, you can’t really get a good feel for any team because every team is different each week.

“You’ll have the inclusion of some Under-18s, some schoolboys, some seniors - so you never really know what you’re up against.

“We drew with Blackburn 2-2 at their place earlier in the season but we probably should have been out of sight in the first half.

“They’ll provide a test tonight.”

Albion U21 starting XI v Blackburn: Palmer, Atkinson, Howkins, Cleet, Smart, S Nabi, O’Sullivan, A Nabi, Roberts, A Jones, Wedderburn.

Subs: Ross, Pace, Birch, Barrow, Ezewele.

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