Former West Bromwich Albion head coach Darren Moore has been tasked to give his thoughts ahead of our Championship Play-Off Semi-Final battle with local rivals Aston Villa this week.
Having secured fourth spot in the second tier table under the charge of both Moore and latterly Jimmy Shan following his unexpected departure from The Hawthorns, the expectation is that both of the coming ties will be tight, niggly and typical derby affairs despite the fact that there is obviously far more riding on the outcome of both games than simply local bragging rights.
Given the nature of the game form and momentum might not have its usual impact, but going back to December’s clash on home soil, we played out a 2-2 draw as we came from behind on two occasions, and the tie at Villa Park in February comfortably went our way, ending 2-0.
Speaking to the E&S this week, Moore backed Shan to have the players right up for both games and although he naturally credited Villa with having the momentum, he felt we’d be ‘fine’ and ‘quietly confident’ ahead of the game as experience is on our side.
“I think the team will be fine. They’re a great group of players. They will be quietly confident at this stage of the season. The boys will be looking forward to it. They will feel they’ve got enough. There are some experienced boys in there, who know now is the time to be at your best. I’m sure Jimmy will get them together, and they’re looking forward to this game. It’s a local derby so both clubs know each other very well, both have exceptional players. I envisage both games will be tightly fought contests decided by a moment of brilliance.”