Express & Star

Carlos Corberan praises West Brom for finding 'different way' in win at Cardiff

Boss Carlos Corberan praised a totally different Albion win from Saturday's effort against Ipswich as his side made it five wins from six by seeing off Cardiff.

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The Baggies climbed to third with a workmanlike and controlled victory at the Cardiff City Stadium, courtesy of Jeremy Sarmiento's inspired second-half effort.

Momentum is firmly with Corberan's men in a run of seven wins from 10 overall, amid a current streak of difficult fixtures that brings leaders Leicester to The Hawthorns on Saturday.

The only blot on Albion's copybook in south Wales was an injury to Jed Wallace. The skipper, who was selected to lead the line from the off, lasted just 21 minutes due to a shoulder sustained in the opening stages, as he tried to play through the pain barrier.

Corberan revealed Albion were yet to discover the extent of Wallace's setback but it leaves him in doubt to feature Saturday and the head coach said possibly beyond.

But the Baggies chief hailed a committed display and the "defensive spirit" of his side, who are now leading the Championship clean sheet stakes from the Foxes with nine shutouts in 18 games - all nine of which have come in 13 outings.

Corberan said in comparison to Saturday's win: "It was the total opposite! At the same time, the result has been the consequence of the team competing with maturity.

"When we couldn't find the football we wanted to create, in the first half it was very difficult for us to impose our style, to make more than four or five passes because we couldn't link enough.

"The positions on the pitch that we put on didn't help us to create chances, but at the same time we defended and were organised. We didn't suffer chances. When these things happen in football, it's important not to be frustrated, fix little details and try to grow with the passing of minutes. For me, this is what the team did in the second half.

"We improved the positions, the team had the ball more in the attacking half, we attacked more, we started to move the ball to the sides to our advantage, with our talented players - that gave us the goal.

"After the goal I saw the team being more comfortable in the game, but we didn't use enough well the three or four chances we created after scoring. We had to finish the game with a lot of defensive spirit to achieve the three points."

On-loan Brighton trickster Sarmiento bagged his second Albion goal in just his second start amid a broken up start to his Hawthorns loan.

Corberan was left in no doubt that the winger meant to shoot and not cross from the left flank, as his effort sailed over Alex Runarsson.

Asked about the winner the boss said: "It was his own decision to do it, I think his own intention was to make the finish, for the strength he put (on it) and the inswinger type of finish he did, I was thinking he had the intention of making the finish.

"He put it in with a lot of energy and it was a very good goal."

It continues the Ecuadorian international's development, having returned from a quad injury just before the international break. He grew into the game and impressed in 65 minutes.

"Jeremy is one player that has a lot of determination to achieve the maximum level in his career.

"Sometimes when you are young, when you have been suffering these injuries, this can create for you some level of anxiety that doesn't help to dominate better the type of game you are going to play.

"He is going this aspect, to select better which type of actions he is using, to select better whether he needs to make one-v-one, to select the switch of play, the simplicity of the action, or if the game demands the individual one-v-one like he was trying today.

He added of Sarmiento's impact: "It's important for him to have minutes because with the injuries he's not had the continuity he needed to have.

"We decided to give him the step, to play more minutes and for me he has been growing in the game. He took time in the first half - he didn't find space in the pitch or enough time on the ball, or enough balls in good positions. His crosses didn't find good accuracy neither.

"With the passing of minutes he improved because we know he is a good player with a lot of talent and he'll need to keep building his level."

Corberan opted to start Sarmiento and John Swift, a nod to a new strength-in-depth with recovered players, though Wallace could now face a spell out. Thomas-Asante, his early replacement, Matt Phillips, Josh Maja, Jayson Molumby and particularly youngster Tom Fellows all enjoyed a positive reaction from the bench.

"The injury he received in an action at the beginning of the game," Corberan said of the Wallace setback. "He tried his best to stay with the team but unfortunately he couldn't keep playing and now we don't know if the injury will affect him for Saturday or even more, I don't right now. It was his shoulder.

"I didn't speak with him yet, I asked him how he was feeling, he said he had a lot of pain and couldn't carry on with the game, we don't know anything yet, honestly I don't know anything."