Roberto Di Matteo has told his West Bromwich Albion side to forget all about their promotion rivals.
The Baggies head into this Saturday’s game at Reading know that they can make significant inroads towards automatic promotion.
The next batch of Championship games is all the more intriguing given that Nottingham Forest, in third place, travel to leaders Newcastle on Monday night.
But the Albion boss is not interested in their fortunes. He wants his own side to ensure they look after their promotion interests, starting with the Madejski Stadium trip.
“It’s not about them,” said the West Bromwich Albion head-coach. “It’s about what we do. If we can win games that moves us in the table and it doesn’t really matter what the opposition do then.
“We’re going to focus on our performance and hopefully be positive.”
Di Matteo has frequently noted his side’s relative inexperience and age this season.
He feels they have coped well under pressure, despite being labelled as early-season promotion candidates.
“We’ve been under pressure all season to be honest,” he continued. We’ve had to deal with that pressure.
“In the last stage of the season when it’s heating up it is kind of nothing new to us because we’ve always been under that pressure. I think our players are mentally quite strong.
“But you do feel during the games sometimes a little bit of nervousness comes to the surface.
“Generally, it’s a young squad.
“We’ve done relatively well in that respect this season. We’ve shown we can cope with a lot.
The Baggies will make checks on Marek Cech and Roman Bednar before travelling this weekend.
Cech has a groin strain, which he sustained against Preston, while Bednar has been out for some weeks now with a thigh injury.
Albion will also run checks over their doubtful other first-teamers before Di Matteo settles on his final side.