Albion scholar Kevin Mfuamba is adamant his team-mates are ready for battle ahead of their Premier League 2 Play-Off semi-final against Nottingham Forest.
Richard Beale’s boys face Forest at Alfreton's Impact Arena this Monday (May 8, ko 7pm) looking to secure a place in the Division Two final by overcoming their fellow promotion rivals in the East Midlands.
Mfuamba, 16, is another member of the Baggies' Under-18s team who has made the step up to the U21s level this term, with Kevin’s height, strength and physical attributes helping him flourish during his outings for the PL2 side.
Having represented England’s U17s earlier this campaign, high-riding fixtures such as Monday night’s encounter will not be a new feeling for the young midfielder, and it’s an occasion which the academy hopeful and his colleagues are ready to take on to reach their goal.
“It’s been a great feeling coming back - especially having been injured for a long period - so getting back with the pace of things has been good and it’s an exciting time for us at the moment," said Kevin.
“Since I’ve come back from injury, I’ve trained with the first team quite a bit. The staff have been very good with me, and the players too, especially with me still being 16. It’s positive to see the senior boys put their arm around you and be good to us.
“From the sessions I’ve had with them, I’ve learned to pick up the pace and do extra gym work because those guys are strong. But it’s helped me be confident within myself and show my ability, because we’re there for a reason.
“My game’s come on massively this year. Looking at the start of the season, I didn’t think I’d be playing in the 21s or being a regular, so to have come in and played as much as I have has helped me improve and, hopefully, edge me closer to first-team football in the future.
“It’s a massive confidence boost seeing the amount of young players in the 21s squad, going out on loan as well, and I think those things prepare you mentally to be strong and fight for that next step.
“Coming into the season one of our targets was to fight for promotion in the division, so making the Play-Offs has been a great achievement for us.
“You have to risk things at the right time in games. There’s an element of doing them at the right time to get rewards, and there’s others where we might sit back, play the safe passes and then look for the space to get through.
“There’s a good feeling around the 21s group at the moment. Everyone’s positive, we want to get back at them [Forest] having lost to them this season, put it right and there’s more of an edge to this game.
“We aren’t nervous - we’re ready for it.”
Ticket prices at the Impact Arena are £5 adults and £3 concessions. Children can attend for free if they are with a paying adult.