Carlos Corberán | 'Both clubs have so much to fight for'

Carlos Corberán applauding Albion fans

Carlos Corberán says Saturday’s clash between his West Bromwich Albion side and hosts Sheffield Wednesday is one where both teams have so much to “fight” for. 

The Baggies, who sit three points clear of seventh-placed Hull City with two matches remaining, know a victory at Hillsborough could well be enough to mathematically secure them a spot in the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

The Owls climbed out of the bottom three for the first time since the opening day of the season thanks to their 3-1 victory at relegation rivals Blackburn Rovers last weekend, meaning they’re one point and one place above the drop zone heading into this weekend's encounter. 

Corberán accepts it’s a crucial game for the two clubs and insists neither can afford to take their opponents lightly given what’s at stake. 

A close up of Carlos Corberán's face

Matchday 45 | Sheffield Wednesday v Albion Preview

The boss said: “We cannot underestimate Sheffield Wednesday and they cannot underestimate us, for a whole host of different reasons.

“They cannot underestimate us because we are fighting to achieve a result which would push us closer towards our target of securing a place in the play-offs.

“We cannot underestimate them because they will fight to get the result which gets them closer to their target, which is staying in the Championship.

“Both teams have huge targets to play for and both teams are going to give their best to achieve them.

“When you look at the table, you will see Sheffield Wednesday in 21st position and West Bromwich Albion in fifth position. 

“However, if you were to look at the table if it was based on the last 25 games, they have collected just three points less than us.

“That means they are one team who are in good form having not started very well in the league earlier this season. They are in a very good moment and they are a very competitive team.”

Matt Phillips on the ball against Sheffield Wednesday at The Hawthorns
The Baggies beat the Owls 1-0 at The Hawthorns in October

Sheffield Wednesday failed to win any of their opening 15 matches in all competitions this term, however the arrival of 34-year-old German Danny Rohl has helped completely turn their campaign around. 

The Owls have lost just one of their last nine at home and go into this weekend’s meeting on the back of four without defeat (W2, D2).

Rohl’s playing career ended when he was young, but he stayed in the game as an analyst for RB Leipzig’s youth sides before going on to be part of the coaching team at Southampton, Bayern Munich and the German national team. 

Corberán, who has had a similar route through to management, says it’s no “coincidence” Wednesday are performing well under him. 

Danny Rohl Sheffield Wednesday manager
The Owls have won 44 points in 33 games under Danny Rohl

“Their coach Danny Rohl has a history of being part of coaching teams at high-level teams across Europe. 

“He helped Bayern Munich win the Champions League, he has helped Southampton in the Premier League and he has been with Germany.

“His journey is similar to mine – starting off as an analyst and a coach and being an assistant and then becoming a manager. He was an analyst and I was a physical coach. 

“We have both been everything we can be in football to try and grow in this world.

“It’s not a coincidence that they can now achieve their target of staying in the Championship. It’s a consequence of his work and him being a very good coach, as well as having good players to work with. 

“Some coaches have the route into management through being a professional football player for many years. Xabi Alonso is one example. He’s probably been the best coach this season. 

“Others have to arrive in different ways. The important thing is being able to show your strengths when the opportunity comes.”

Carlos Corberán watching an Albion game with his arms folded

A sell-out crowd will watch the Owls and the Baggies go head-to-head, with Corberán’s men expected to be backed by 2,400 supporters in Yorkshire. 

The Spaniard is anticipating an “amazing atmosphere” on Saturday afternoon and says he hopes it’s an environment his players thrive in.

“We know we’re going to play in an atmosphere which is going to be amazing. The atmosphere that we are going to experience on Saturday is the same atmosphere you might expect to find if you were playing in a play-off match. 

“It’s their last home game and we know they’ve moved out of the bottom three for the first time since August into a position where they can move closer to securing survival.

“One win for us will move us a lot closer to our target, so we know the atmosphere is going to be amazing. 

“We like to play in these atmospheres. It’s what makes football so special and we are excited and we are ready. 

“We competed very well in our last game, but just because we did that, doesn’t mean we are going to compete well again in this game. 

“We have to arrive with the right mentality and not be complacent or expect things to happen because we played well at Leicester. We have to earn it and we have to fight for it.”

Carlos Corberán shouting on the touchline wearing a black Albion coat
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