Gunners to visit The Lamb on Monday night (ko 7pm)
JAMES Shan has challenged his Under-21 side to maintain their impressive form from 2015, ahead of their opening match of the New Year.
The Baggies face Arsenal at Tamworth FC’s Lamb Ground on Monday night in the Barclays U21 Premier League division two (ko 7pm).
The previous year was a successful one for the Under-21 group, having enjoyed a 14-game unbeaten league run which has enabled them to mount a serious promotion challenge going into the second half of the season.
Several members of the squad also earned loan moves during 2015, and Shan is expecting to lose more of his players to temporary deals over the coming months.
He said: “We have a big drive to get our young players out of the building and I would expect us to lose a few of them to loans over the next month.
“That will be a tough task for the Under-21 side having younger players coming in who might not have experienced this level of football before.
“We could be a totally different team in a few weeks due to the volume of players that we have out on loan.
“It’s important for the younger players coming in to have the same ethos as the older group, who discovered a winning mentality in 2015 which meant we went on a lengthy unbeaten run.
“The challenge is to maintain our good form and also our push for promotion.”
Shan added: “Our first game of 2016 will be a very difficult one against a very good Arsenal side.
“They have some excellent players in their team.
“Four or five of their lads played in the FA Youth Cup match against us when they won a couple of weeks ago.
“We have witnessed their talent and qualities already and the lads know they will be in for a tough test on Monday night.”
Admission is free for both West Bromwich Albion and Tamworth season ticket holders, otherwise prices are £5 adults and £1 concessions.
Come on you Baggies!