Club News

Shan: Pride Park test is ‘perfect’

Jimmy Shan believes Sunday’s clash with Derby County is the “perfect” way to bring the regular Sky Bet Championship campaign to a close.

The Baggies head to the East Midlands having already secured a spot in the Play-Offs, but the Rams’ participation in the final promotion battle is still uncertain.

Frank Lampard’s side occupy the sixth and final Play-Off position ahead of the final-day fixture against Shan’s men, with Middlesbrough and Bristol City both breathing down their necks and in the hunt to finish inside the top six.

And due to the importance of the game with Derby’s destiny in their own hands, Shan thinks Sunday’s showdown acts an ideal Play-Off “rehearsal”.

He said: “Derby’s situation makes the game real on Sunday.

“You can look at it as a little bit of a rehearsal.

“It’s a perfect test in terms of the atmosphere inside the stadium, the energy they will bring as a team and the fact they probably need to pick up a victory to qualify the Play-Offs.

“I think it will have everything you might expect from a Play-Off game. 

“It’ll be a tough test and they need to win the game in all likelihood so I am sure they will make it difficult for us.

“I think Derby have been very brave and very front foot all season.

“They are a good team and we saw that at The Hawthorns earlier in the season.

“Derby play with a real energy and enthusiasm and they have plenty of quality in their team.

“I don’t expect that to change on Sunday. I think they will come at us.”

The Baggies will be backed by over 3,000 supporters at Pride Park and Shan wants the travelling fans to make as much noise as possible.

“The fans have been fantastic. Some of my best moments this season have been on away days because the travelling support is excellent.

“They make a noise, they make themselves heard and they are appreciated by the players and the coaching staff.”

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