Express & Star

West Brom debrief: Magic Mikey and the Albion squad game luxury

Albion's push in the Championship play-off race is reaching its critical point with the final international break of the season in sight.

Mikey Johnston (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

But before Carlos Corberan's men take a breather after the home clash with Bristol City on March 16, there are back-to-back away contests to negotiate against sides scrapping for their second-tier status.

QPR on Wednesday and Huddersfield on Sunday pose different questions to clashes against fellow top-six chasers, but both the Rs and Terriers have found improved form of late and are unlikely to be straight-forward.

Albion head to Loftus Road three games unbeaten, featuring two wins, the latest of which was Friday's important 2-1 home victory over rivals Coventry, secured via an impressive first half of two excellent goals, of very different style.

We assess some of the key observations as Corberan's side switch their focus from Friday night's success to Wednesday's test in west London.

Magic Mikey

What a difference the January recruit has made. The 24-year-old has Albion fans reminding themselves not to fall in love with loan players all over again.

Johnston has three goals in his last five games, including two very similar beauties. That's in seven total appearances, and just four starts so far.

He is a fabulous watch. An electric player full of purpose and refreshingly direct with a first thought to get forward on the front foot. The Republic of Ireland international's skill and technique are very clear qualities.