Taylor on maintaining ‘expectations’ ahead of Stoke clash

Caleb Taylor

Caleb Taylor insists Albion’s PL2 side must continue fulfilling the “high expectations” they’ve set for themselves when they host Stoke City on Monday afternoon at the club's training ground (ko 1pm).

The young Baggies have produced a positive reaction since suffering just their second league defeat of the campaign against Aston Villa back in September - winning all of their last four games.

Towering centre-back Taylor has quickly moulded himself into Valérien Ismaël’s first-team fold this season since transitioning from Albion’s Under-18s last term, starting in the Carabao Cup clash with Arsenal back in August as well as being regularly involved in senior training sessions.

The 18-year-old says learning under the Frenchman has “massively” benefitted his game time in the Under-23s with Richard Beale’s side this year, and Taylor believes his team-mates must keep replicating the style of the first team as they look to make it five on the bounce against the Potters.

“After a good season last year, expectations were always going to be high for me and the team,” said Taylor.

“I knew if I kept working hard then I’d get a chance in the first team. I’ve worked hard to cement my place in training and give a good impression of myself to the manager by performing well on game days with the Under-23s. I want to gain his trust so I can show, when and if he needs me, that he can rely on me to step in.

“Knowing the gaffer likes me is a huge confidence boost and makes me more motivated to try and work harder to get into the first team and gain these important experiences.

“Having my close mates training with me helped me settle in a lot quicker which allowed me to be more confident and be myself which is going to help me even further down the line.

“It’s been quite difficult to adjust because Under-18s training and games are very different to first-team training, mainly due to the physicality more than anything because I’m up against people like Matty Phillips and others who are strong and developed.

“So I’ve had to adapt to combat that and it’s taken a while but I feel I’m getting there and doing more stuff in the gym to catch up with these guys who’ve been used to Premier League and Championship football. Going from 18s to 23s is a big jump but I feel like I’ve adapted well to it.

“Stoke will be a very tough game and it always has been for us, but the boys are looking forward to it because we know if we continue play the way we have been, then we’ll keep picking up wins and going up in the table.

“But we need to keep the momentum going by working hard, playing the way the first team play with high intensity, creating lots of chances and hopefully that’ll get us the win.”

How to follow the game

Tickets will not be available for Albion’s PL2 clash against Stoke City, but supporters can still access a live stream of the match.

Season ticket holders and members can enjoy a live stream of Monday's match. Click here and log in with your My Albion account linked to your season ticket or membership.

If you haven’t yet set up your account click here for instructions.

If you have any issues logging in please contact

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