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James Shan wants Dwight Gayle peaking for the play-offs

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Caretaker boss James Shan wants to make sure deadly Dwight Gayle peaks at the right time for the play-offs.

Dwight Gayle. (AMA)

Gayle scored twice to swing a topsy-turvy game with Hull City in Albion's favour on Good Friday.

He now has five goals in his last two games, and has raced ahead of Jay Rodriguez in the scoring charts with 23 goals this season.

Shan rested Rodriguez for the 3-2 win over the Tigers, and has admitted he could do the same for Gayle in the remaining three games to make sure he's in tip-top shape for the play-offs.

"He's on form," said Shan. "His work ethic and appetite are brilliant. He made seven or eight penetrating runs, if we had seen his run and movement, we'd have got in behind them more.

"He's got a great attitude and he is a key player. It's looking highly likely it will be the play offs, and we want to make sure they peak physically.

"It was a lovely opportunity to rest Jay, and something we'd consider with Dwight.

"It's something we need to be wary of. We have a big squad with high quality. But we'll analyse the physical data and the stats they've put out."

Shan is refusing to take any risks with his players ahead of the play-offs, and he took Ahmed Hegazi off 18 minutes into the match.

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The Egyptian was visibly angry and shrugged off the caretaker boss before storming down the tunnel, but Shan said Hegazi had apologised straight away.

"He apologised immediately at half-time," said Shan. "He was very sincere. He wants to play every minute.

"He's been frustrated with this injury over a number of weeks, He didn't want to come off the pitch, but we had several conversations as a staff and thought it was right to.

"He has an issue with his ankle, it's not a serious issue, but it's been causing him discomfort in training.

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"Credit to the man, having the humility to apologised at the first opportunity."

The Baggies came from behind to beat Hull 3-2 and make it four wins from four at The Hawthorns for Shan.

"It's nice to gain another three points and another home win," said Shan. "I think we made hard work of it if I'm being honest with you.

"There were moments when we could have gained more control and created more opportunities.

"But I wouldn't question the boys' character or resilience, I've worked with most of them for more than 12 months now.

"Their ability to never say die is always there for me. The quality we've got we're always going to cause the opposition defence problems."

Hull boss Nigel Adkins said: "We've come here and played some good football, created some chances. I'm disappointed with the first goal we conceded.

"We came out in the second half really brightly, but we know Albion are good with set pieces.

"The third goal is actually offside, I've watched the goal back, the guy who crosses the ball is in an offside position. We didn't get that fortune today, it's fine lines."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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