Carlos Corberán on Josh Maja injury, attacking options & Watford

An image of the left side of Carlos Corberán's head

Carlos Corberán says it’s really “unfortunate” to lose striker Josh Maja for eight weeks, and insists different solutions will now how to be found from within the squad.

The striker, who tore ankle ligaments in the final moments of the club’s 0-0 draw with Bristol City on Saturday, is set to be out of action until after the November international break, leaving Corberán with one recognised fit and senior striker in Brandon Thomas-Asante.

The boss believes it’s now up to him to find the right solutions for the right moments up top, naming several attacking players as potential replacements for Brandon should he not be on the pitch for any reason.

And Carlos says challenges like this are all part of football and is confident “something different” always has the possibility to be positive.

He said: “Unfortunately in the last action of the game he received a tackle from the defender, and from that tackle the injury has come.

“He picked up an issue with the ligaments in his ankle and now he’s going to be out of the group for the next eight weeks.

“He arrived to the club in special circumstances having not had a club for the first part of the summer. We had to be patient with him and help develop his levels because he couldn’t impact the game in the condition he first came to us in, through no fault of his own.

“In the international break I could see that process with Josh Maja was done and finished. I thought he was ready to be a starting player, but I also thought on Saturday at Bristol City he could impact the game more from the bench and link with Brandon Thomas-Asante.

“I thought they were exceptional on Saturday when they were on the pitch together.

“Unfortunately now, we cannot repeat this for the next eight weeks.

Josh Maja is set for a spell on the sidelines

“Now we have Thomas-Asante and Thomas-Asante only as a recognised striker for the next couple of months, but this is a challenge we have to deal with and find solutions for within the squad. Sometimes, these challenges throw up solutions that nobody would expect, perhaps even myself. This is football.

“At times like this you will be putting players in the position of a striker who are not strikers. I have to find the players who are most capable of filling that position.

“I know the skills of my players. Matty Phillips has played in that position before for me but he has been playing more as a winger. Jed Wallace can play in that position. Jeremy Sarmiento can play as a false striker, but then he would need attacking wingers with him. John Swift can play as a false striker but again you’d need attacking wingers.

“They are not strikers, but they can offer something different. As a defender, if you’re up against something different, it’s more difficult to control.

“It’s about finding the right profile of player to fit different situations.”

Corberán’s men are back on their travels on Wednesday night, making the journey south to take on a Watford team managed by former Baggies boss Valerien Ismael.

The Spaniard says he and his group of players know exactly what type of test to expect at Vicarage Road.

“Against Valerien Ismael, I have played two times against Barnsley and lost both times, and once with Huddersfield against Albion, a game which we won.

“Those previous matches mean nothing. What happened before, happened before and we are now both at different clubs.

“Now, he has the Watford job and I think he’s a very good coach. He’s been here in England before and he worked in Turkey at Besiktas before coming back to manage Watford.

“He’s a very good coach with a very aggressive team in defence that is going to make Wednesday’s game a very competitive one.

“They are going to press us every single time we have the ball. We know this is going to happen without a doubt.

“We need to know where we can get an advantage and how to play that game properly. This is the good thing about the Championship this year, the increased levels in terms of high pressing, the man-to-man marking and the football in general.

“The opponents are strong and are all very well coached. It means that every game is a big game and Watford on Wednesday is no different.

“It’s going to be a very demanding game. They were in the Premier League two seasons ago and they’ve kept some of those players.

“They have a good squad and a good coach. When you put these things together, you know it’s going to be a challenging game.”

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