Cardiff v West Brom: Darnell Furlong reveals strong day one Baggies feeling ahead of South Wales trip
Albion head into another clash against one of the Championship’s promotion-hunters at Cardiff tonight riding high after the statement win over Ipswich.
But according to Darnell Furlong, who opened the scoring in Saturday’s 2-0 success, confidence under Carlos Corberan existed before a first ball was kicked in August.
Tonight’s clash sees seventh host fifth in the second tier with Corberan’s visitors looking to further enhance their top-six credentials after ensuring defeat at Southampton before the international break, where they performed so well, was just a minor blip.
“It’s definitely a massive confidence-booster, but there’s a massive confidence in the camp and it’s been there since the start of the season,” Furlong said after Saturday’s victory.
“It just reinforces what we believe in and it continues to try.
“Coming into this season we had a very positive end to last season – to tell the truth with our performances based on results we wasted the first 15 games of last season.
“To still finish three points off the play-offs after a 15-game head start is unbelievable. So coming into the season we thought if we could replicate what we did from then on it would look good. We’ll try to keep at it, there’s no guarantees but we will work hard.”
Three points in south Wales would lift Albion two places to third – at least for 24 hours as Southampton and Leeds are both in action on Wednesday, at home to Bristol City and Swansea respectively.
Corberan has been lauded by supporters and onlookers for guiding Albion well into contention among the division’s hunters for promotion and the big-hitters relegated from the Premier League last May. The Spaniard is also leading Albion amid a period of gross uncertainty between ownerships and a lack of any investment aside from third party loans – a second from MSD Holdings was confirmed yesterday.
The trip to Cardiff comes amid a run of fixtures against sides all battling near the summit – with leaders Leicester at The Hawthorns on Saturday lunchtime. Corberan finally has squad options to call upon having welcomed John Swift and Josh Maja back into the fold on Saturday, though midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah is not expected to feature. The head coach will toy with the idea of an unchanged side after Saturday’s near-enough complete performance.
Furlong, meanwhile, who glanced in a fine header from Matt Phillips’ corner early against the Tractor Boys, admits turning set-pieces into goals has been high on Albion’s agenda.
“We worked a lot on set-pieces, we actually had a lot of meetings over the last couple of days about how we’re getting into the areas but haven’t converted as much as we’d have liked to,” the right-back said. “It’s nice to have the meetings and things pay off in the game.”
Corberan added: “It’s important to improve in this aspect and to keep growing – in positional attacks, counter attacks, set-pieces, defending, defending from set-pieces, pressing. Here we’ve scored two goals, one in transition, one from a set-piece. Every goal is more than welcome, but it’s true that the volume of set-pieces we create is very high. It’s important to use them in a better way.”