Express & Star

Why Shilen Patel brings comfort to West Brom fans after play-off heartbreak

It is always hard to stomach when you're beaten in a play-off semi-final.

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Shilen Patel at St Mary's on Friday night (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

When you're that close to a Wembley final, it is heartbreaking when it is taken away from you.

Albion fans, players and staff alike would have had those feelings on Friday evening as they saw Southampton fans pouring onto the pitch.

However, despite that sense of disappointment, they would have also had a unique feeling.

It isn't one that many fans defeated in a play-off semi-final will have felt, and it is one of comfort and safety, something they may not have felt had things not have changed earlier this year.

Under the previous regime with Albion in a perilous financial position - they would have desperately needed to beat Southampton and then follow it up at Wembley.