Express & Star

Sunderland v West Brom - Match preview

Carlos Corberan revealed his shock at the sacking of Sunderland’s Tony Mowbray ahead of a reunion with Albion.

Carlos Corberan (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

The Baggies boss has emphasised his admiration and respect for the title-winning Hawthorns manager on several occasions previously and admitted he is inspired by Mowbray’s attacking style.

The pair locked horns twice last season – Corberan victorious at the Stadium of Light last December while Mowbray inflicted a damaging defeat on his former club in the Black Country in late April in what was almost a shootout for the play-offs.

Albion’s head coach anticipated another face-off against Mowbray but relayed his “massive surprise” having seen Monday night’s news of his counterpart’s axing, despite the Black Cats’ relatively lofty position of ninth, just three points outside the play-offs.

“A massive surprise for me – the fact that Tony’s not going to be in the Sunderland bench. It’s surprised me a lot,” Corberan said of Albion’s 2007/08 Championship-winning boss.

“Tony’s one coach that I respect a lot, not just the fact he was West Bromwich manager before, for the way his teams play, how they always play.

“For me he made an amazing job in Blackburn but specifically Sunderland, for me he was beating any type of expectation. He took one team that moved from League One and put them in the play-offs with many injuries, especially in the centre-backs.