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Under-21s preparing to face Newcastle on Friday

28 January 2016

Youngsters hoping for first win of 2016

ALBION’s Under-21 side will be hoping to keep pace with the frontrunners in Division Two of the Barclays U21 Premier League on Friday lunchtime.

The Baggies, who are yet to win in 2016, face Newcastle United at the Club’s training ground at 1pm in a behind-closed-doors fixture.

James Shan’s youngsters put in a dominant display against Brighton on Monday night, but they were unable to find a winner and were held to a goalless draw.

The result left Albion fourth in the table, four points behind the leaders Derby County who have played a game more.

Shan said: "We had a good game against Newcastle up there - it was 0-0 but entertaining and both sides were committed to getting it down on the floor and playing football. We still need to work harder to be resolute when we don't have the ball, make the pitch smaller, harder for them. 

"I spoke to the boys after the last two games about positioning, not just about possession but about connecting the lines so we can play and manoeuvre the ball where we can exploit teams. Monday evening was probably the best we've been since the turn of the year in terms of having an identity with our shape. We lacked a bit of cut-throat in front of goal, but we had spells of dominance which was encouraging.

"We need to build on Monday and aim for three points tomorrow. Four points from two games would be a good return."

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