Attacking midfielder Swift is poised to return to Corberan’s XI for tomorrow evening’s final Hawthorns game of the regular Championship season against Norwich.
Gardner-Hickman, 21, came in for Swift – a regular this season – at Sheffield United on Wednesday as a fitter, more athletic option and impressed against the Blades before a costly error for the opening goal in a 2-0 defeat.
Corberan said: “I think in some moments it is no good to protect the players too much. Sometimes the protection has to have a limit to help players develop.
“Sometimes when you give so much protection, at the end you are not helping them to face things we need to face. Like sometimes my mum calls me and says ‘Carlos please don’t suffer after the defeats, we know you will feel pain’ – but if you don’t have pain, then you don’t progress.
“The pain is necessary, it has to be there. For me, his key situation to manage was his game against QPR, he didn’t play well, and he reacted, because against Blackpool he played well, and that was what I wanted to see.
“To make a career they need to make these steps, after a poor game they need to believe and demand. They need these two things or it won’t work.
"Nobody can make a career as a coach for me, I need to make a career. It means I need to face mistakes that are painful, when you know the result you know the consequence of your decisions and it is painful.”
Ninth hosts 11th before a ball is kicked this weekend with the Canaries in town, but much could change before the 5.30pm kick-off with a full list of fixtures elsewhere.
Corberan’s men and the visitors start the day just two and three points respectively outside the top six.
Swift was a surprising omission at Bramall Lane, but will be recalled providing he shows no adverse effects to training this afternoon.
“As soon as (Tom) Rogic was not ready to play the game, and I know that if you use Swift in more games in a row, you need to have someone who can play in Swift’s position because we want the best of Swift,” Corberan explained.
“The other day, knowing that Rogic can only play so many minutes – and after he didn’t feel well enough to play a single minute – and the freshness of Gardner was there, in a game when you need to win second balls and press, the decision was based on this.
“Every time you analyse a game you make decisions based on the type of game you’re going to play, and if everything goes well Swift will be in the first XI.”