Express & Star

John Swift: Play-offs are the minimum aim for West Brom

John Swift believes maintaining a position inside the top six should be the minimum target for Albion this season.


The Baggies, who kick-off their Championship campaign at Middlesbrough on Saturday, finished 10th in the division last term.

This year, though, they know they have to compete for promotion with the likes of Swift and Jed Wallace joining the club this summer to realise their dream of playing in the Premier League.

And Swift believes once the league has settled down after the opening few months, Albion should be a position where they are in the top six and looking up.

“The club will always want to be pushing for promotion,” the former Reading midfielder said.

“We can’t be dropping out the top six. We want to stay up there all season.

“And hopefully we can be one of the top two.

“But we all know the Championship, it’s such a hard league to win.

“Nobody really knows who is going to be up there and who is going to be down there before the start of the season.

“It’s a tough league. But we have got a quality team.

“In (Daryl) Dike and KG (Karlan Grant) we’ve got two strikers who make so many unselfish runs.

“We just have to keep supplying them but the squad depth is good.

“We’re going to have five subs as well this season so hopefully that will benefit us.

“We are going to into the season with a lot of confidence.”

Albion head to Middlesbrough heaving beaten Hertha Berlin in their last friendly of the summer.

“We’re feeling really good,” Swift added.

“Pre-season games are pre-season games.

“We have played a lot of lower league teams. Sometimes we’ve not had the first-half we’ve wanted but had a better second-half.

“And sometimes we’ve had a good first-half but not second-half. That is pre-season.

“But I think the game against Hertha Berlin was a big one because they are a team with a lot of quality and they showed that.

“But it will give us massive confidence going into the Middlesbrough game.

“You can play lower league teams and they have quality.

“But the quality you see in the Championship is more like we saw against Hertha Berlin.

“And we showed we can play around them, we can get on the end of crosses and score goals so it was massive for us.”