Youngsters face Rovers at Ewood Park on Monday
ALBION’s Under-21 side travel to Blackburn Rovers on Monday night for their most important game of the season to date.
The youngsters have two matches left to try and clinch a spot in the Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two play-offs, starting with the clash at Ewood Park (ko 7pm).
The Baggies, who sit 7th on 30 points from 20 games, need to finish inside the top five to qualify for the play-offs.
West Ham occupy the final play-off position with 32 points to their name but they have played a game more than Jimmy Shan’s men, while Stoke in 6th have played all 22 league matches.
Monday night’s fixture is as equally important for the hosts who have also acquired 30 points from 20 games – only an inferior goal difference keeps them below Albion in the table.
The Baggies’ Under-21 boss knows how crucial the fixture is for both teams.
“It’s a massive game for both sides there is no question about that,” said Shan.
“We are in the same position as we were in before the Villa game last week – we set a target of winning our final three and we won our first game last week.
“We need to win our final two to be in with a chance of qualifying for the play-offs, starting with Blackburn on Monday.
“There has been plenty of players training leading up this game, around 18 or 19 boys.
“In previous weeks, due to players being out on loan or the Under-18 games schedule, we have only had maybe 11 or 12.
“Working with a larger training number ups the intensity of the sessions because players want to make sure they are picked for the squad and the starting line-up.
“We are in a good place both mentally and physically and I want our players to express themselves.
“Blackburn are a very nice footballing side who move the ball around quickly but they are also very patient in possession, which is similar to the way we try and play.
“I’m expecting a very difficult match.”
Come on you Baggies!