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NO IFS OR BUTTS: THE PROMOTION RUN-IN

Guy Butters

Guy Butters

PUBLISHED

15:00 30th March 2016

by Guy Butters

The former Albion defender looks ahead to the final few games of the season.


With Albion heading into the business end of the season, I thought I would draw upon my previous experiences of a promotion run-in and the team’s prospects this season - starting with a tricky game against Burnley on Saturday.
 
With two or three games to go, you roughly know whether you’re going to be in the play-offs or if you still have a chance of getting automatic promotion.
 
If you’re not going to make the top two, then that’s when you aim to finish either third or fourth to get the away leg first and then the home leg second.
 
That’s very important and you need everyone to be on form and firing on all cylinders at that stage of the season.
 
The Albion will hopefully be in and around the automatic spots at that stage and it’s just a case of holding your nerve.
 
The best thing about what we have at the club now is experience. The manager’s been there and done it before, Colin Calderwood has done it before and some of the players have played international football, so they’re used to playing on big stages.
 
There are also some in the squad that have experience of the play-offs, so if we don’t make the top two, then they will know what to expect. Hopefully the last two play-off experiences for some of the boys will carry them through.

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The worst thing would be if it goes down to the final day of the season, and you fail to go up automatically. It happened to me when I was at Portsmouth. We missed out on goal difference by one goal. We were nine points clear of Tranmere in fourth, but ended up losing to Leicester in the semi-finals and failed to reach Wembley.
 
If you do get a slap in the face in the last one or two games, then it’s important that you don’t let that affect you going into the play-offs. But there are a lot of things that could happen between now and the end of the season and I’m still feeling quite confident.
 
Looking more immediately at Saturday’s game, we did really well at Turf Moor earlier in the season, when we got a draw. If we have the same sort of performance on Saturday, then we’ll have a good chance. Ideally, we don’t want to be at the stage where we’re looking at the play-offs again and hopefully we can get automatic promotion.

UPCOMING HOME FIXTURES

ALBION V BURNLEY

SATURDAY 2ND APRIL, KICK-OFF 12.30PM

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ALBION V FULHAM

FRIDAY 15TH APRIL, KICK-OFF 7.45PM

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ALBION V QPR

TUESDAY 19TH APRIL, KICK-OFF 7.45PM


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