Blues a family affair for Jimmy

ALBION's Jimmy Shan will be one genuine "Albion-Brummie" at the heart of Friday night's derby at St Andrew's.

The Baggies First-Team Coach was born in Bordesley Green and spent his formative years joining his mates for a trip to watch Birmingham City during the 1980s.

Many of them will be just yards from the opposition dugout Jimmy will occupy for the Sky live televised clash on Friday and he knows he will be in for some 'banter' before, during and after - regardless of the result.

"I've only found out in the last week or so that a lot of my pals are seated just by the away dugout so that will be interesting," says Jimmy.

"I'm surrounded by Blues fans in the family, too. My brother-in-law keeps trying to get my boys into their tracksuits or shirts but he's been unsuccessful so far.

"My mum was a home-and-away Blues fan in her youth. Since I've taken on this job, though, she's converted to Albion.

"It's all good-natured rivalry but the game itself will be very difficult as you would expect from a derby."

Jimmy, who was actually a Liverpool fan in his days travelling to St Andrew's, started his coaching career in the Academy at Blues and has now settled in quickly following his summer promotion to the first-team post on a permanent basis.

It's a transition he has made smoothly, helped by his previous working experience with Head Coach Darren Moore, and the challenge of the Sky Bet Championship is being relished in the Shan household.

"I always wanted to get to the front-line where there are extra pressures but the extra buzz when you win," he said.

"We've got some really exciting talent which I believe means any game we're in we are able to carry an attacking threat because of the quality of player we have.

"These games are always difficult because of the rivalries. They are always going to be competitive.

"I've watched Blues a couple of times and seen them on TV and they've been unfortunate in some games not to get all three points.

"They are a competitive outfit with a really good defensive structure and the ability to shut teams out. But they also carry a threat at the top end of the pitch.

"We've still got Premier League quality players here and they will want to beat them."

  • Home