Express & Star

Club legend is backing West Brom to ‘nick it’ against Saints

Two-time Albion promotion winner Paul Robinson believes a winning mentality is key to seeing off Southampton – and backed the Baggies’ leaders to find a way through.

Paul Robinson swims on a sea of hands after Albion get promoted.

Former left-back Robinson won a Championship title under Tony Mowbray at Albion in 2007/08 after a previous automatic promotion success in 2003/2004.

He also experienced play-off elation and heartbreak in between, as Albion progressed through a two-legged semi-final against arch-rivals Wolves in 2007 but fell at the final hurdle against Derby at Wembley.

Robinson, now a coach and part of Gary Rowett’s interim staff at relegated Blues with Mowbray sidelined through illness, sees the mentality of a squad as key to positive results in the play-offs.

Ahead of tomorrow’s first leg at The Hawthorns against the Saints, Robinson told the Express & Star: “I think the experience West Brom have will help, it always does. There are leaders there and the squad hasn’t changed, they’ve dealt with the season together, not many new January faces – apart from Mikey Johnston who has been fantastic, and Tom Fellows coming in (from the academy) too, who adds something different.

“I think that togetherness will see West Brom through. There will be more pressure on Southampton, how they play, their players, they are favourites.

“It’s an intriguing tie and I believe West Brom will nick it, they will be mentally stronger with their togetherness as a group. If they can nullify Southampton’s qualities they can edge it. It’s about being patient with the counter-attack.”

Baggies hero Robinson played 238 games for the club between 2003 and 2009, including three seasons as a regular in the top flight.