Carlos Corberán | I'll remind players how important these games are

Carlos Corberán speaking at a press conference in front of sponsor boards

Carlos Corberán has revealed he will be reminding his players about the impact a positive result in a derby can have on a fanbase and the local area.

West Bromwich Albion make the seven-mile trip from The Hawthorns to St. Andrew’s on Friday night for what will be the 136th meeting between the two West Midlands rivals.

The Baggies boast a much better head-to-head record, claiming 60 wins to Birmingham’s 38, but it’s the Blues who have fared better recently, winning the last three meetings.

Carlos insists he has the same amount of “passion” and “desire” to win every game he is involved in, but acknowledged fixtures like Albion’s next one are extra “special” for supporters.

The boss said: “A local derby to me personally is no different than any other game because I respect my club every single time we are out on the football pitch.

“If I was to respect my club more in the days of the derbies, it would mean that I don’t respect my club how I should respect them.

“It’s great to play in a good atmosphere and that is what we are expecting on Friday.

“When I was younger and I started my career as a coach, I remember it was my father, my girlfriend at the time and three more people watching the games I was coaching, with maybe the families of the players too. No more than 20 people watching.

“When you are there, your dream is to be involved in big games and we are going to play in a very big game on Friday night. The dream for players is to play in big games and the dream for a coach is to coach a team in a big game.

“For me, the stadium could have 20,000 Birmingham fans but my focus will be on the 2,000 West Bromwich Albion fans and I want them to be proud. We represent them and so many more who won’t be at the game.

“I love football games and I love games which have emotion in the back of them. Every game for me has a lot of emotion in it and that’s why I personally don’t feel a lot of difference.

“For our fans who live in the area and have Birmingham fans close by, these games are always special. We need to keep these traditions in football. It’s so important to know how special these games are for our fans. It’s important to go to the stadium knowing this.

“I like to remind the players how important these games are. I have shown the players videos of Albion supporters through the ages because I want them to know what it means to represent West Bromwich Albion Football Club.

“When you are watching these videos, it is very emotional. Players can have a huge impact on the area and the town. The club has a present and it has a future. Right now, we are the present and this is our moment to represent it in the best possible way.

“We have to be ambitious and have the desire to go and get the three points that are in front of us.”

The Baggies head into the clash off the back consecutive victories and clean sheets against Preston North End and Sheffield Wednesday respectively.

Corberán’s team have performed well in both matches, but the boss insists form is just the past and has challenged his players to replicate their recent displays in the second city this weekend.

“The last two results have been excellent and the two performances have been good in general too.

“Friday’s match is a new challenge and a new test for us. The only thing on my mind now is what we have to do to win against Birmingham City.

“Form is just what has happened in the past. One positive result one week does not guarantee a positive result in the next one. That’s something which I have told my players.

“If you understand why you have got a positive result, you can use that to try and replicate the performance and get another positive result.

“Every game is different. The important thing is how you manage your resources. We arrived to one game recently having not lost at home against a Huddersfield team who had not won. They beat us.

“The same thing happened last Saturday when we won our first away game against a team who hadn’t lost at home in Preston.

“Every game is different and we have to give our best each time we are on the pitch.”

Opponents Birmingham City claimed their first win in seven attempts in all competitions on Tuesday night, beating Huddersfield 4-1 on home soil.

Corberán believes the Blues have “talented young players” and is anticipating a stern challenge.

“I expect Birmingham to play at the same level as they played at in midweek against Huddersfield.

“They brought in a lot of key players in the summer and they’ve improved the squad. I expect Birmingham to be a little different to what we’ve come up against before which has been a direct team with lots of aerial balls. This time, I expect the ball to be on the floor a lot more.

“They have talented, young players. We have to play a very good game against.”

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