Carlos Corberán believes a win on the opening day of campaign would help build important “momentum” and “confidence” going forward.
The Baggies begin the 2023/24 Sky Bet Championship season with a trip to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday afternoon – the third year in-a-row where they’ll be away from The Hawthorns for the first fixture of the new term.
This weekend’s clash with Rovers has been locked in the diary since Albion’s second-tier schedule was announced on June 22.
And Corberán insists he knows how beneficial it can be to get off to a flyer in the league.
The boss said: “It’s really important to get off to a good start on Saturday.
“Winning on the opening day doesn’t define your season, but it can certainly set you up to build some really positive momentum and confidence.
“We have been working hard all the way through pre-season for this moment and we are focused on making sure we give our best on the football pitch.
“We have a really big desire to win the game and make our fans happy about the first match of the new season.
“We know that this year is going to be massive and a challenge. We are going to challenge every opponent, but every opponent will demand us to be at our very best.
“We have to take on the responsibility of performing how we want to perform and make things work in the way we want them to on the pitch.”
Opponents Blackburn narrowly missed out on a spot in play-offs and took four points off the Baggies last season.
Corberán says he has made it very clear to his players what type of test to expect at Ewood Park.
“Blackburn are a side who finished above us in the table last season and they have had some changes in their squad over the summer.
“They are a very competitive team and they are very aggressive in attack. They play with attack-minded players, even at the back, and they want to be very aggressive in defence.
“We know the game that is facing us on Saturday. It’s important for me that the players understand the game before the game is played.”
The boss also provided an update on the fitness of summer signings Josh Maja and Jeremy Sarmiento ahead of the journey up to Lancashire.
“Right now Josh Maja is not completing any training with the group. He’s going to be working and developing his own individual level because he hasn’t had a pre-season with a club.
“He’ll be working individually for the next week and then he’ll complete a couple of training sessions with the group before our game with Swansea City.
“If everything goes well with the process of him training, maybe he could be part of the squad for that game.
“Jeremy Sarmiento is a little bit different because even though he didn’t do a full pre-season with Brighton, and even the fact he was injured towards the back end of last season, he has completed some training sessions with the group.
“This means he can be available.”