Ethan Ingram is keen to help Albion’s youngsters bounce back from their recent setback when they play Huddersfield Town in the Premier League Cup on Friday night (ko 7pm).
The Baggies full-back has produced a number of stellar performances in Richard Beale’s PL2 team since the senior side's Carabao Cup defeat at Derby in August - a night which the 19-year-old describes as a personal "blip" when analysing his own display.
Not only have Ethan's energetic displays seen him contribute an impressive four assists for the club’s U21s, but it has also caught the eye of the national team, with the academy star featuring for England’s U20s in the Costa Cálida Supercup tournament earlier this season.
Ingram admits the heavy defeat last time out against Nottingham Forest was a hard night for the squad to stomach. However, the Gloucester-born defender stresses he and his team-mates are a side who “bounce back”, and says they’ll be looking to do just that by fighting for three important group-stage points at the John Smith’s Stadium on Friday evening.
“We were very disappointed with the Forest result, but we’re a team who bounce back,” said Ingram.
“Before the last league game, we were winning, scoring goals, so we haven’t sat on the last result too much.
“The same thing happened last season. We were winning, then we had a blip and a similar result to the Forest game, but then we were back on it. We don’t like these kind of results, but they almost need to happen and it’s good that it’s happened early in the season so when things need to be won, we’ll be ready for them.
“We can’t go back, we can only go forward from this. 23s football is about improving yourself as a person and a player and we’re trying to implement the way the new manager wants us to play into our game.
“There’s a lot of structure and planning with the new gaffer. I’ve been in meetings with him and his staff and it’s so clear what he wants. That helps as a young player and if you’re not as experienced as the older players around you, then sometimes you need that clear plan.
"It was a shock to go away with England during the last break because one of the players in my position got injured. I wasn’t high on confidence at the time and that call-up boosted me and when you play with those kinds of players, it makes you feel confident in yourself again.
“A lot of things had to happen in that Derby game earlier in the season for me to realise what I needed to improve on within myself, not even from a football perspective.
“Things like my confidence and from that point, it’s only got better. Not long after that Derby game, I was going away with England. It helps when you add numbers to your game. If people see the number of assists I get, then it shows I’m getting into the right positions and am doing something right.
“You don’t need to watch the game to see what kind of player I am because the numbers speak for themselves. I’ve worked a lot more within myself rather than on my game because I feel it’s sometimes 80 per cent mind, 20 per cent football.
“It’s very easy to forget about what you’ve done and things you’ve achieved in those moments. I had a blip, and I will make sure that doesn’t happen again.
“We’re looking forward to Friday’s game and with it being on such a nice pitch, hopefully we’ll be able to play our football, penetrate and do what we do and score goals. We’ve got so many goals in our team and hopefully, that’ll show on Friday.”