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HOME COMFORT

Posted on 27 March 2006  - 12:00

Martin Jol believes home advantage will be a big factor when we take on West Brom tonight in front of the live television cameras.

Martin Jol believes home advantage will be a big factor when we take on West Brom tonight in front of the live television cameras.

The Baggies are not a side we have enjoyed a great deal of success against in our five meetings since their return to the Premiership, winning just the FA Cup replay in December of last year.

Our trip to the Hawthorns in our last game of 2005 turned into probably our least convincing display on the road and Kanu inspired Bryan Robson's side to a 2-0 victory.

For Monday's game, we are in a similar position to last weekend at Birmingham in that both sides are desperate for the points - for very different reasons - and Martin views it as a must-win encounter.

"The advantage is that we will be playing at home in front of our fans - our home record is fine," reasoned the Head Coach. "That is a plus, but we haven't had the best results against West Brom over the last couple of seasons.

"It is a home game and a must-win game for us. We know that West Brom did very well against Manchester United and had four or five big opportunities.

"They play in a different style now and again, which is not easy but, like I said, we have to win."

Meanwhile, our chances of keeping a clean sheet against Albion will be boosted by another big performance from Michael Dawson, who was a rock against Birmingham at St Andrews.

"When we got him last season and he made his debut against Liverpool, we knew he had to produce these kind of performances," considered Martin. "It has turned out to be a positive, he did ever so well against Blackburn and Birmingham and is very consistent in every game.

"It is about our defensive displays and I feel we have done well in this respect."