Carlos Corberán | 'We know how special this game is'

Carlos Corberán in a black coat during a training session

Carlos Corberán insists he, his coaching staff and his players completely understand just how “special” and “important” Albion games against Wolves are.

The Baggies meet their local rivals in the fourth round of the Emirates FA Cup at The Hawthorns on Sunday lunchtime (ko 11.45am) – the first fixture between the sides in front of supporters in 12 years.

Anticipation for the clash, which is sold out, has been building ever since the round-four draw, with Wolves needing extra-time in the replay to battle beyond Brentford in the previous stage and book a Black Country derby date.

Carlos says any contest that means an awful lot to the club’s supporters means an awful lot to the coaching staff and the players, stressing his team will be doing all they can to “represent” West Bromwich Albion in the best way possible this weekend.

The Baggies boss said: “This game means a lot to us. It means a lot to our fans and what is important to them, is always important for us.

“To represent West Bromwich Albion in this special game, it means a lot to us all. We’re all really looking forward to it.

“From the first moment when the draw was made and we had the possibility to play Wolves, it was easy to see how important the game is for both clubs and how important it is for our fans.

“I’ve been walking in the streets so many times when our supporters have come up to me and told me that we need to win this game, so we know how special and how important it is going to be for them.

Carlos Corberán in a coat during a training session stood by a banner that says "winner"

“It’s a game where we have the possibility to have a whole week preparing for it and a full week to focus on the cup without there being a league game in between.

“I have been watching some parts of previous Albion against Wolves games and just with ten seconds, you can understand everything.

“You don’t need to watch a full game to understand what this game is all about and what type of atmosphere our fans are going to create.

“You understand very quickly how special, how important and how demanding the game is going to be. Our fans are going to bring so much noise to the stadium on Sunday.

Carlos Corberán in a coat during a training session

“The supporters can help us. When you are a player and you start to have the feeling before the game about just how important the match is, you can only give your best.

“Players love to be out on the football pitch and they are about to play a derby. They need to know that this is not a game they are always going to play, but now, they get the chance to represent West Bromwich Albion in one of these special games.

“This is something we need to use and something we need to value. We need to represent our football club in the best possible way.

“I know the atmosphere they’re going to create and I know how challenging they will make it for the opponents to play against us.

“They will support their team in their best level. We need them. We need their noise and we need this atmosphere.”

Albion fans with their hands in the air at a home game

Corberán will be coming up against Premier League opposition for the first time as Albion’s head coach and thinks it’s a great chance to assess “levels”.

“The players are excited for the game. I was feeling that way before the previous game in the cup too. The players wanted to advance and keep going.

“The players want to make it through to the next round because they want to keep playing cup games.

“It’s a big challenge, but it’s the challenge that is in front of us.

Carlos Corberan delivers info to his squad during training

“You always want to play against the best teams in the world, and for me, the Premier League is the best league in the world.

“When you come up against a Premier League team, you know you are coming up against some of the best players in the world from a host of different countries.

“We have got the possibility to play a Premier League team in our stadium on Sunday and it’ll be a great test to see what our level is.

“We have to challenge ourselves and it’s a chance to put our best behaviours forward as coaches and as players. We are going to give our best to make sure we keep going in the cup.”

Carlos Corberán standing in the distance on the training pitch with a mannequin in front of him

Carlos was also quick to stress the importance of striking the perfect balance between keeping a cool head and being fired up for such an encounter.

“In football, it’s always important to manage two difference aspects. The tactical one and the emotional one.

“The idea is to always have a balance, but balance by making sure you have the best level in both.

Carlos Corberán in a coat on the training pitch

“I think it’s important to understand the tactical part of game because every game has different key points and different situations to understand. You face different teams with different shapes and different identities.

“We need to defend our identity and show our own style.

“Another key part is the emotional part. What really makes a difference after you have understood the tactical side, is the commitment you put into the game.

“We know that the commitment has to be the maximum we can have in this game because we know how much it means to us.”

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