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Under-21s aiming to get back on track at Fulham

4 February 2016

Youngsters yet to win in 2016

ALBION’s Under-21 side travel to Fulham on Friday night looking to reignite their Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two title bid.

The fixture will be played at Motspur Park with a 7pm kick-off scheduled.

The Baggies topped the table on a number of occasions in the first half of the campaign, but stuttering form has seen them drop to fourth, five points behind leaders Derby County.

The youngsters were held at Brighton last Monday, before suffering a 4-2 defeat at home to Newcastle on Friday afternoon.

Under-21 boss James Shan insists winning the league remains a target, but concedes that circumstances could conspire against them.

He said: “Winning the league is a target but it is going to become more and more difficult.

“Due to a number of loan deals and injuries, there will be a lot of inexperienced Under-18 players stepping up to the Under-21 squad.

“A lot of those Under-18 players will have to do double headers in the Under-18 and Under-21 teams on Saturdays and then Mondays, so fatigue will play a part.

“As a staff we know that it will be difficult to win the league but we are still in a fantastic position.

“I’d consider the season a poor one if we were to finish outside the play-off positions.

“On the flip side, if we have players away from us because they are involved with the first team, then that can only be seen as a success.”

Albion’s opponents Fulham are third-bottom, but they have played a fewer number of games than the majority of teams in the division.

Shan is wary of the individual talent in their side.

He said: “I watched Fulham play against Villa last week and they have some very good individuals in their side.

“Peter Grant takes them and he has them working very hard.

“They like to keep the ball and move it around so it will be a difficult test for our young lads.

“It’s a good chance for the younger lads to impress and try and hold down their place in the Under-21 squad.”

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