West Bromwich Albion manager Carlos Corberán has warned his side against Sunderland’s “quality” front line on Saturday, despite Tony Mowbray’s recent departure.
The Baggies head to the Stadium of Light on Saturday with five wins from their last seven league matches and are fifth in the Championship standings.
However, Corberán’s side were unable to make it three wins from three on Saturday after they fell to a 2-1 home defeat against Leicester. Despite holding the Foxes to a 1-1 draw with one minute remaining, West Brom conceded a second in injury time.
Next up for the Midlands side is a trip to Sunderland, who are ninth in the Championship and winless in three. Moreover, a patchy run of just two wins in their last nine led to the Black Cats’ hierarchy sacking Mowbray on Monday, December 4.
The decision was a shock after Mowbray led Sunderland to the 2022/23 Championship play-offs and had his side just three points off the top six this season.
When speaking to the official West Brom website, Corberán explained that Mowbray’s dismissal will not change his side’s approach as they visit the Stadium of Light on Saturday.
“They have changed Tony Mowbray, but I don’t think that changes the Sunderland team we will come up against.
“He has created a very attacking culture at Sunderland and he did the same at Blackburn before that too.”
The Spanish coach expanded on his analysis of Sunderland and pinpointed a few key attacking players that his side will have to focus on if they want to bounce back from their disappointing Leicester defeat last time out.
“They still have the likes of Jack Clarke, Patrick Roberts, Luke O’Nien, Dan Neill, Jobe Bellingham and Trai Hume, just to name a few. So we’re still facing the same Sunderland. A lot of their players played in the play-offs last season.
“You cannot break the good habits that they created in one week after Tony’s departure. They have a lot of quality and they love to have the ball.
Corberán’s cautious words ahead of the Sunderland clash may serve as additional motivation for his side to focus as the Baggies aim to add greater consistency this season. In addition, the 40-year-old is correct to praise the attacking forces in Sunderland that have turned over the likes of Birmingham, Norwich (3-1) and Southampton (5-0) at home this season.
However, there is a sense of shock around Wearside following Mowbray’s abrupt sacking on Monday. This could work in West Brom’s favour as Sunderland could be fragile as they adapt to life without their former, popular boss.