Tom Fellows on personal achievements & Southampton play-off challenge

Tom Fellows in a club tracksuit and coat at The Hawthorns before a game

Tom Fellows insists Albion completely “deserve” their opportunity to participate in the Sky Bet Championship Play-Offs.

The winger and his team-mates are busy preparing for Sunday’s showdown with Southampton at The Hawthorns in the first leg of the semi-final (ko 2.15pm).

Carlos Corberán’s men recorded a fifth-placed finish in the second tier in 2023/24, while opponents Southampton ended the campaign in fourth position. 

Fellows played a crucial role over the course of the term, making 33 league appearances, scoring four Championship goals. 

The 20-year-old academy graduate accepts the Saints will provide a stern test, but was also keen to stress the Baggies can approach both games full of confidence after producing plenty of impressive performances over the of the year.

Tom Fellows running with the ball wearing the home Albion kit at The Hawthorns

Tom said: “Southampton are clearly a very good side and they finished above us in the table. They like to dominate possession, but I think we gave them a really good game at their place.

“At our place, they were on top for most of the match but this is the play-offs now and anything can happen. 

“There’s no doubt they’ll be a tough opponent and it’ll be a challenge for us, but we’ll approach it with full confidence because we know we deserve this opportunity and we deserve to be in the play-offs. 

Tom Fellows controlling the ball at The Hawthorns wearing a home Albion kit

“We’ve delivered some really good performances this year and we’re all determined to produce another couple in the two legs.

“We’ve earned the opportunity to play for a place at Wembley over the 46 games of the season so let’s see what happens.

“I don’t really agree with the play-offs being a lottery because I don’t think any game is ever won on luck alone. 

“There are two legs meaning we’ve got 180 minutes of action to play. After 180 minutes, the better of the two teams will usually go through to the final so we need to try and make sure we’re the better team in each match.”

Tom Fellows in action for Albion wearing the home kit

Albion secured their play-off spot last weekend thanks to a 3-0 home victory over Preston North End, with Alex Mowatt, Kyle Bartley and Darnell Furlong all finding the net. 

The supporters played a crucial role that afternoon, creating an electric atmosphere which helped propel Corberán’s towards a vital triumph. 

Fellows labelled the occasion as the “loudest” he’s ever heard at the Shrine and has requested similar levels of support for Southampton’s visit on Sunday.

Albion fans holding up an Albion scarf at a match

“The atmosphere at The Hawthorns on Saturday for the Preston game was brilliant. It was probably the loudest I’ve ever heard it at The Hawthorns.

“We needed the supporters on Saturday and we’ll need them again on Sunday. When the atmosphere is like what it was on Saturday, I think it would be tough for any team to come and play.

“I’m sure it’ll be a really good game. Hopefully we can make a really strong start and set ourselves up.”

Tom Fellows running with the ball for Albion wearing the home kit

The exciting youngster was presented with the Young Player of the Season award minutes before featuring against the Lilywhites.

Tom admitted it’s an honour to win the accolade and revealed there are two very special people who can’t wait to see the trophy. 

“It felt really, really good to win the Young Player of the Season award. 

“It’s been a long season, but it’s been a really positive one and I’ve had so many good experiences too.

“To win the award just tops it all off really. I’ve put a lot of hard work into the season so it’s a really nice achievement.

Tony Brown presents Tom Fellows with the 2023/24 Young Player of the Season award in the dugout at The Hawthorns

“My family were really pleased and really proud. It’s the first professional award I’ve ever won, so we’re all really happy.

“The award itself is up on the mantelpiece at the moment. Knowing my mom, it’ll get moved somewhere soon. 

“I need to go and show my nan and grandad and take it round to them because they’d enjoy that. 

“Hopefully it’ll stay on the mantelpiece, but we’ll see.”

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