Express & Star

Carlos Corberan will not be letting West Brom players relax

Carlos Corberan has ordered Albion not to let up in their relentless pursuit of a Championship top-six finish.


While an international break is in sight later this month, the schedule shows no sign of relenting on Corberan and his troops with away trips to QPR and Huddersfield tomorrow and Sunday, respectively.

The Baggies' squad spent the weekend in recovery and analysis sessions after Friday night's Hawthorns success over Coventry. Norwich's late winner over Sunderland on Saturday ensured there remains just four points between Albion and the Canaries, in seventh.

Two of Corberan's key men in the Sky Blues win, star midfielder Alex Mowatt and loan goal hero Mikey Johnston joked afterwards about the possibility of a weekend off after the victory, though skipper Jed Wallace, and Corberan himself, insisted it is not time for a breather.

And the head coach wants his whole squad ready. Corberan said: "No doubt for me that it is not the moment to rest, but for two reasons.

"One reason because we can only win games if we have a strong bench. Players that didn't play on Friday, like Pipa, like Semi (Ajayi), like (Callum) Marshall, like (Yan) M'Vila, plus those that played from the bench, they need to train.

"They need to train to be able to be ready to compete. Only when you get the full squad ready in the same level is when you can compete in the games.

"Now is not the moment to relax! It's the moment to keep growing."

Improving QPR are recovering under Corberan's compatriot Marti Cifuentes, who was appointed in October. But a run of eight games since the middle of January has seen the Rs lost just once, to Stoke, and win five, including three in a row – the latest a stunning 2-1 success at leaders Leicester on Saturday.

New Albion midfield recruit Yann M'Vila, the recent free agent signing, is still pushing for fitness in a bid for his involvement as a Baggies player.

The former France international, 33, has not played since last May but Corberan is optimistic he can call on the signing for a matchday squad if M'Vila comes through the latest training sessions unscathed.

"If he competes well in training in these days, then for me that is important because I want to make 10 v 10 situations," Corberan said.

"That is what he needs and for the players that didn't play that is the more real practice exercise you can do. If he completes the game situations and physical work we do then I can start to think of him."