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James Shan: I know my best West Brom team

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Jimmy Shan insists he knows his best XI heading into the play-offs – but hasn’t ruled out other players forcing their way in.

James Shan (AMA)

The caretaker boss is yet to name an unchanged line-up in his nine games in charge, and there are still question marks surrounding his selection in central midfield.

Shan admits his choices in the play-offs may be determined by which team the Baggies meet.

Although it’s highly likely fourth-place Albion will face fifth-place rivals Villa over two legs, the Baggies can still finish third if they beat Derby County on the final day and Leeds lose to Ipswich.

But Shan says he already has an idea of his favoured starting XI.

“Of course we have a clear way of thinking and know our best team,” he said. “Within that, the opposition will dictate that depending on where we finish.

“After the Derby game, who we face will determine who we pick. One hundred per cent there’s clear direction on what we believe as a coaching staff is our best 11.”

Albion have 10 points from a possible 12 since switching to a back three under Shan, and both the defence and forward line are unlikely to change.

Shan is expected to play club captain Chris Brunt in central midfield, but he has a number of options for the two spots alongside him.

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The caretaker knows his starting XI, but hasn’t ruled out others changing his mind.

"Yes, there’s an opportunity to do that,” he said. “They do that day in day out and have done that since day one.

“They all train with a purpose and great work ethic. Speaking to three or four who have been right outside it, their mentality and sole attitude is to make sure they are right should they be called upon.

“That’s the mechanics of a good team and a good group. That’s credit to the environment and the culture Darren (Moore) set.

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“When you come to the business end of the season there’s a clear direction.

“Your natural mentality is to make sure you get right behind people and we have that work ethic and type of dressing room.

“There are opportunities for them in every training session to change opinions but most important is to make sure they’re best prepared and as ready as they possibly can be when called upon.”

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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