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Shan’s honest assessment as Under-21s drop out of play-off spot

12 March 2016

Baggies have three huge games remaining

ALBION Under-21 boss James Shan has admitted his side’s season will have been a “pointless” one if they were to miss out on a play-off spot.

The Baggies dropped out of the Barclays U21 Premier League Division Two top five for the first time this year following their 2-0 defeat at Derby County on Friday night at the iPro Stadium.

Promotion to Division One has always been the target for the youngsters, but a stuttering run of form and no win since mid-December means their play-off hopes are under serious threat.

Shan believes that three wins from their final three games against Villa, Blackburn and Arsenal are now imperative.

He said: “We said to the players that we were going to have to win three games out of the last five to qualify for the play-offs.

“We have one point from the first two games so it is really important that we win our last three now.

“From my perspective, and I am hoping the players share the same views, it would be a pointless season if we finish outside the play-offs.

“It would give the season no meaning whatsoever, so we have to work really hard now in these last three games to achieve the targets we set at the start of the season.

“I was really disappointed with the performance against Derby, just like I was against Wolves on Tuesday night.

“It looked like we were playing in a game that meant nothing to us, we didn’t display a togetherness or a want to work hard for each other, which was incredibly frustrating.

“We lacked a bravery and a trust when we had possession of the ball and we didn’t move it quick enough.”

On a more positive note, the Under-21 boss was quick to praise the performance of right-back Kane Wilson, who replaced Robbie McCourt early in the second-half on his 16th birthday.

“I was really pleased with young Kane Wilson on his 16th birthday,” said Shan.

“He showed a real willingness and desire to do everything properly and he handled the step-up in level very well indeed.”

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