Carlos Corberán provides fitness update ahead of home opener

Carlos Corberán.

Carlos Corberán says Albion must be “patient” with new signings Josh Maja and Jeremy Sarmiento – with both players in contention to feature in the home Sky Bet Championship opener against Swansea City on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The Baggies return to The Hawthorns for the first time since April, having fallen to a narrow 2-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers last weekend.

Corberán insists the duo are making strides towards full match fitness and need to be managed appropriately before they are ready to play 90 minutes.

The boss said: "We need to be patient with them, because it’s not about how many minutes we would like to play them, it’s about how many minutes they can play, to perform and to keep playing in the next games, too.

"That’s why we need to follow the medical instructions to make sure we don’t break these limits.

"At the same time it’s not only a medical decision, we know that when a player is out of rhythm they can’t perform well until they’re playing more minutes."

Sarmiento has featured for the club twice following his loan move from Brighton, whilst fans are yet to see Maja in action after his permanent move to The Hawthorns.

Corberán provided a positive update on the progress of Grady Diangana, with the winger edging closer to a return to action, after sustaining an injury during the second half of last season.

"Grady’s making a good recovery, he was back involved in some technical training this week. We hope this will be the case within the group next week, too.

"It will hopefully not be long before we see him back on the pitch with the team."

The boss expects the Swans to provide highly-competitive opposition for The Hawthorns curtain-raiser and admits his players must focus on their own performances in the face of a stern Sky Bet Championship test. 

"Swansea are a team with a lot of good players,” Corberán added. “They’ve had a very good summer. They know how to play football, they understand spaces and they want to have the ball.

"We will try to use all of our strengths and impact on their weaknesses to make us as competitive as we can be, what they do is not up to us, it’s not something we can control.

"We always want to win the football games, but wanting to win is only a desire. To make it happen we need to control the games in all the aspects we can, to have more control, and that’s always my focus.

"They’re going to be competitive, the only difference between us last season was goal difference, so we know that we’re going against a club that we know have a good team, a good coach and will be a nice challenge to face."

  • Corberan