Andy Johnson | The whole club has to believe

An image of Andy Johnson playing for Albion in 2005

Andy Johnson has called for togetherness and belief ahead of Albion’s crunch game at Swansea City on Monday afternoon (ko 3pm).

The former Baggies midfielder, who now co-commentates for WBA Radio, says he’ll be travelling down to South Wales filled with excitement about what the final day could bring.

Carlos Corberán’s side know they need to win and hope other results go their way if they are to reach the Sky Bet Championship’s promotion Play-Offs.

But anything is possible, insists ‘AJ’, who is hopeful Albion will “sneak into the top six”.

“I’m so, so excited for Monday’s game,” said Johnson. “People who know me and listen to WBA Radio will know that I get really excited about every game, but this one is especially exciting for obvious reasons. 

“We’ve got a chance, and sometimes that’s all you need. Things so often seem to change dramatically on the final day, and I really hope that can happen on Monday down at Swansea.

This group of players have "performed brilliantly" for Corberán, says AJ

“It’s all about how teams, players and managers handle the pressure. Pressure can do strange things to individuals and we’ve got to embrace it and make our own pressure a positive.

“I don’t think our players have to worry about anything else other than winning our own game.

“We can’t affect what happens at Millwall against Blackburn, or in Coventry’s match, or Sunderland’s. What we can control is the result we get against Swansea, which we all know obviously has to be a win if we’re to stand a chance.

“I know the lads will be disappointed to be outside the top six heading into the final day. But I really do believe that this group of players have performed brilliantly under Carlos. We’ve risen up from bottom of the table to be heading into the final game of the season still with a shot at securing a Play-Off spot.

“We’ve had an incredible six or seven months under Carlos and I’d love to see us sneak into the top six."

Ex-Baggies midfielder 'AJ' has praised Carlos Corberán for his impact at the club

Andy knows what it’s like to be a player in similar circumstances to this, having experienced a number of dramatic final days during his spell at the club.

And nothing will be more important than “belief” if that Play-Off place is to be secured, explained Johnson.

He added: “We all just need to be believe it can happen. Great things happen when everyone associated with our wonderful football club believe. If there’s anything I could say to the players or to the fans, it would be just to believe.

“I’ve been in situations like this before with this football club where we have defied the odds and achieved something special.

“Who’d have thought we’d claw Wolves back to pip them to promotion in 2001/02, or survive on the final day of the 2004/05 Premier League season. 

“We believed we would do it on that afternoon against Palace at The Hawthorns in 2002 and the lads believed they would do it on the afternoon they played Portsmouth in 2005. 

“Being on the pitch against Palace was absolutely incredible and one of the best days of my career. I was gutted to have missed out on playing against Portsmouth on the final day because of injury, but I was kicking every ball from the sides. 

The Baggies know all about final day drama...

“It’s fair to say West Bromwich Albion and final day drama seem to go hand-in-hand. We never do things the easy way. I’m desperate for some drama and some jubilant scenes down at Swansea. 

“We know it’ll be tough. They’re in unbelievable form and they pass the ball around for fun. They’re one of the best footballing teams in the division, that’s for sure, and I think our lads will have to be very patient. 

“When we have the ball, we have to be clever with it and be ruthless at the top end of the pitch.

“I’ve just been thinking about the game non-stop since we beat Norwich and I know my whole bank holiday weekend will be spent thinking about what will happen on Monday. 

“Come on you Baggies!”

Supporters inside and outside the UK can listen to AJ and Gez Mulholland live on Monday afternoon as the drama unfolds via WBA Radio. Audio passes are available to purchase here for £2.50.