Carlos Corberan praised West Brom’s “maturity” as a hard-fought 1-0 win at Cardiff lifted them to third place in the Sky Bet Championship.

Jeremy Sarmiento’s stunning second-half strike gave Albion a fifth win in six games and seven from their last 10.

“It was total opposite win,” boss Corberan said comparing Albion’s success in the Welsh capital to their free-flowing victory over second-placed Ipswich on Saturday.

“This result was the consequence of the team competing with maturity when we couldn’t find the football we wanted to create.

“The first half was very difficult to impose our style, we couldn’t find more than four or five passes because we couldn’t link enough.

“It was very important for me not to be frustrated but to fix details.

“We improved the possession in the second half and had the ball in better positions.

“We had to show defensive spirit in the second half to secure the three points.”

Sarmiento has had a slow start to his Baggies spell after joining on a season-long loan from Brighton in July.

The 21-year-old former England youth international, who played for Ecuador at the 2022 World Cup, has been troubled by a quad injury and this was only his second league start.

On Sarmiento’s wonder strike five minutes after the break, cutting on to his right foot and curling home from 20 yards, Corberan said: “Maybe I didn’t expect him to shoot from there.

“He has the quality and he was very positive, but it was not easy from the angle that he had.

“It’s important for Jeremy to have the minutes because the injury has stopped him having the continuity he needs to have.

“We know he is a young player with a lot of talent and he needs to keep building his level. The more he improves the better it is for the team.”

Cardiff manager Erol Bulut was angry his side were not given a late penalty for handball, saying in a post-match radio interview that “this league needs VAR for sure”.

Bulut said: “I didn’t mention anything about referees because I respect them and I think they need to respect Cardiff more.

“This was a penalty and we will report it. I don’t want to speak but they are pushing me. They are costing me many points. I don’t want to report it.”

Bulut absolved on-loan Arsenal goalkeeper Alex Runarsson, who was making only his third league start for the Bluebirds, of blame for Sarmiento’s winner.

He said: “We watched it and I spoke with the goalkeeper coach (Mario Galinovic) and he said he couldn’t catch the ball.

“I have to see it, but if the goalkeeper coach says this, it’s a really good shot.

“We don’t have to allow that shot. But we should push the opponent to the line.”

Carlos Corberan was delighted after his West Brom side secured a 2-0 win against Coventry at the CBS Arena.

Grady Diangana pounced on a Ben Wilson error to slot home in the first half before Brandon Thomas-Asante fired in a second amid calls for offside from the Sky Blues’ back-line.

“The result of course was excellent,” said Corberan. “We know that Coventry is one team that didn’t lose at home so far, during the game we realised how difficult it was to win here tonight.

“The first goal was a collective action, Grady was showing how connected he is with the game because normally not every player will go for the second ball.

“The second was a very good action, very good pass of (Matt) Phillips, good running of Asante and the level of finish was excellent.

“I am very pleased to have the three points for the level of effort the players have put into the game tonight. In defence in the first half we need to defend much better. In attack we need to attack more, in the second half we improved in the counter attack but there are still things we need to do better to improve as a team.

“I didn’t watch the action (possible offside) so it’s impossible for me to make any decisions. You need to pause, to see with VAR to make the decision but on live, some actions are impossible.

“I think in one action if there is a clear offside it’s easy to see, if there is no clear offside it’s very difficult, and if there is no clear offside there is no advantage. I think VAR shows us sometimes that they disallow the goals in the action that you don’t see an advantage of the striker with the position of the defender.

“If there was an advantage I think the referee would have been watching. I hope it wasn’t offside because I always like to win with the results being fair.”

Coventry boss Mark Robins bemoaned a lack of belief within his side, who were handed their first home defeat since April and sit 20th in the Championship after three consecutive defeats.

Robins said: “The negative is obviously the result. We’ve got to a situation where we’ve lost the last three and we’ve conceded really poor goals and made some poor decisions.

“We’ve had plenty of the ball and got into good positions, but what I would say is we need to be more positive when we’ve got positions to shoot.

“We moved the ball well, we played through the midfield area pretty well and there are areas that we clearly need to be better in.

“There were some good things we did in the game but we can’t concede goals that give us a mountain to climb.

“Belief is a bit lacking in certain individuals but we made a lot of bad decisions as well.

“Ultimately they’ve got the win off the back of a goal we’ve given to them and an offside goal that wasn’t seen by the officials.

“I saw it live and it looked offside and then I went to have a look at the monitor and he was offside. But the action that led to it wasn’t right either. We tried to play offside, that was a major decision because we were still in the game, we had chances to equalise having gone a goal down.

“It’s poor by Ben Wilson. We can’t give people chances like that and expect people to keep the ball out of the net. It’s poor. We all make mistakes and it’s just how you deal with them and how you put those forward.”

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan felt his side played “against more than just 11 players” after a controversial penalty helped Birmingham come from behind to earn a 3-1 derby victory.

City’s equaliser came when referee James Linington pointed to the spot after Cedric Kipre’s clumsy lunge on the falling Koji Miyoshi and Juninho Bacuna scored from 12 yards.

From that moment, John Eustace’s hosts did not look back and Dion Sanderson headed the Blues in front in the 38th minute before substitute Gary Gardner sealed victory with an 87th-minute free-kick.

Corberan found it difficult to control his anger after the Championship clash and put himself at risk of being punished with his post-match comments.

“Today we competed against more than just 11 players,” said Corberan.

“It’s difficult to analyse the game without talking about the penalty because it changed the game.

“When you’re a coach and you put your life into this work – and I put my life into this work – how do you feel?

“It was one action where the player (Miyoshi) slipped in front of Kipre, you have to consider if it was a penalty.

“Their other two goals came from a second phase set-piece and a free-kick.

“In a month’s time, no one will remember this, but I will never forget this. This action has had a massive impact.

“I feel emotionally it affected the concentration of our players because in football and in life when something is unfair, it’s difficult to accept.”

John Swift put West Brom ahead in the fifth minute with his sixth goal of the season.

Then came the hotly-disputed equaliser in the 23rd minute, with Bacuna sending Alex Palmer the wrong way for his first Championship goal of the season.

Birmingham went ahead when Dion Sanderson guided a header high into the net from Cody Drameh’s deep cross before Gardner curled home a delightful free-kick from the edge of the area.

Blues head coach Eustace admitted: “I thought he was blowing for a corner but I didn’t see the incident.

“But I think it was a true Birmingham City performance – we played some exciting football at times but we had to dig in and fight at times and that togetherness is what this football club is all about.

“We had to do that at times and I couldn’t be any prouder of the players and the fans.”

City celebrated with a lap of honour and Eustace added: “I love winning games and I’m an emotional person.

“Tonight was a special night – we were playing West Bromwich Albion at home in front of a full house, live on the telly and it was a big game.”

Carlos Corberan pointed to an increasing self-belief after West Brom snapped Preston’s unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship season with an emphatic 4-0 away win.

The Baggies took a fourth-minute lead when Darnell Furlong drilled home a shot from 22 yards, before further strikes from Alex Mowatt, Matt Phillips and Kyle Bartley completed a great afternoon for the visitors.

The result marks West Brom’s first win since August 26 and lifts them back to within touching distance of the play-offs, while Preston remain third in the table after six wins and two draws prior to this humbling.

“Defensively and attacking, that was a fantastic performance,” Corberan said.

“I was delighted to see complete effort and commitment from all the players, and that was exactly what I had been after.

“I’ve told the players previously that they need to believe in themselves and that belief was there for everyone to see today.

“Perhaps at times we needed to do more things during the game, but I cannot be critical after a victory like that.

“I was so pleased to see every player competing from the very first minute to the last. There are different challenges in this division too.

“We met those today, but we all know the physical demands of the Championship.”

After a frustrating September, where West Brom lost to Huddersfield and drew with Bristol City and Watford, Corberan hopes they can make up for lost time and rack up some wins.

They have three home games to come in their next four league fixtures, starting with Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday.

“Games are coming at us all the time, and we have to cope with that,” he said.

“We knew exactly how tough it was going to be to come here and get a result.

“Preston have had a great start to the season, and their players will never give anything up.

“Their high intensity was something else we knew we needed to match but we did that and this has been a fantastic result.

“We need to take this positive feeling into the next games now.”

While Corberan hopes the result is a landmark moment in their season, Preston manager Ryan Lowe plans to forget it as soon as possible.

They face tricky away games at Leicester and Ipswich before the international break and Lowe insists they cannot dwell on the defeat for too long.

“We were nowhere near the levels I expect from the lads, but you have to remember West Brom are a really good team full of good players,” he said.

“They’re well coached, you can see that but I was also proud and pleased that our lads didn’t give up – we kept going right until the end.

“We’ve been terrific so far this season. We’re still in a great position, we’ve only lost one game.

“We’ve lost three points, not six or nine, so it’s not all negatives. The lads know they weren’t good enough today, but we won’t linger on it.

“I’ve told them all that I want lots of smiles on faces on Monday morning, and there will be. The manner of the defeat was a big disappointment, but credit to West Brom.

“Ultimately we’ve just lost one game – today has just been one of those days.”

West Brom head coach Carlos Corberan has called on his players to become a 90-minute team and be more clinical after a 0-0 draw against Millwall.

The Baggies dominated after the break and hit the woodwork twice in 10 minutes in what Corberan described as the “perfect” second half after Alex Palmer saved Zian Flemming’s 27th-minute penalty.

But Corberan rued what might have been after this stalemate became their third draw in a week and took their winless run to four games.

“If you analyse the week, we couldn’t keep the levels of the second halves in the first,” said Corberan.

“And in the Championship, to make an excellent 45 or 50 minutes that tells us it’s not enough.

“That said, even if we do a full game (at that level) it might not be enough because in football what makes the difference is to be clinical in front of goal.

“The more options you create, the more chances and possibilities you have to score.

“Look at the stats in the second half – we had 73 per cent of the ball, the goal expected was 1.86 and their goal expected was zero.

“We did the perfect second half without the reward of the three points. In the first half, we didn’t play well enough.”

Brandon Thomas-Asante missed two chances – including the one that hit the bar – but Corberan defended the striker, who is without a goal in four games.

“He’s doing unbelievable work – he played 90 minutes on Wednesday night and 90 minutes here,” he said.

“It’s not easy to find a player who does what he does.

“You mustn’t forget that one year, two months ago he was playing in League Two.

“He’s still growing, but every time he’s on the pitch he shows a lot of value for the team.”

The penalty came after Kyle Bartley handled Ryan Longman’s corner, but Palmer saved his team-mate’s blushes.

After the break, West Brom dominated. Matt Phillips’ shot was blocked after Bartosz Bialkowski saved Thomas-Asante’s shot.

Then Alex Mowatt’s curling free-kick rattled the underside of the crossbar, before Thomas-Asante’s header was deflected onto the bar.

Millwall manager Gary Rowett praised his side’s battling spirit.

“Sometimes in the Championship you’ve got to dig in to get a point and a clean sheet and I thought we did that fantastically well,” he said.

Rowett admitted his side found it hard going in the second half after the spot-kick miss.

“I didn’t think it necessarily caused us problems in the first half but I felt certainly in the second half we struggled a bit,” he said.

“They changed formation – they kept Jeremy Sarmiento really high on the left and Matt Phillips high on the right and it pinned our five back.

“So we decided to change our formation to four at the back because there was no point in having five marking three players.

“It helped us gain a bit of stability but it didn’t necessarily allow us to get out.

“I just felt our use of the ball and our bravery in the second half wasn’t enough to get us on the attack.”

Carlos Corberan expressed his pride at turning around West Brom’s season despite a 3-2 final-day loss at Swansea as they fell short of the Sky Bet Championship play-offs.

West Brom had started the final day of the regular season as play-off outsiders, needing to beat Swansea and hope for favourable results elsewhere.

The Baggies ultimately finished ninth, as Sunderland and Coventry claimed the final two play-off places, after Corberan took over in October with the club second bottom of the Championship.

“The target we had was difficult, to change the momentum of the season,” said Corberan, whose side won only three of their final 10 games.

“It was very uncomfortable. We moved fast, we focused on the possibilities and I feel very proud.

“It’s a pity we didn’t achieve the play-off positions, but the team has put in a lot of effort.

“We arrived to the last moment of the competition and the players did not stop to believe, to try and make their best.”

On summer squad strengthening, Corberan added: “I do not know the limitations or the situation (of the club), but from tomorrow I will guarantee to work as in football there is no time to waste.

“As fast as we know our possibilities and resources the better for us to play the team that West Bromwich needs to have.”

Corberan was unhappy with Swansea’s stoppage-time winner, Joel Piroe curling home a free-kick for his 20th goal of the season.

He said: “I am very disappointed that we didn’t get something from the game, at least a point.

“I don’t think we deserved a defeat with all the things we have done well, especially in the second half.

“We should avoid a foul where we concede the free-kick but there was a foul on (Jayson) Molumby. That increases the frustration.”

Swansea, for whom Luke Cundle and Olivier Ntcham cancelled out goals from Okay Yokuslu and Semi Ajayi, finished below West Brom on goal difference in 10th.

Fresh investment is arriving at the Welsh club this summer and new chairman Andy Coleman’s in-tray will include tying manager Russell Martin down to a new contract.

Martin, appointed Swansea manager in August 2021, has one year left on his current deal and has been linked with a potential summer vacancy at Leicester.

“He (Coleman) said he likes what we’re doing,” said Martin. “There’s maybe other priorities at the moment but we’ll see.

“He’s said the ownership group have expressed an interest in trying to extend the contract.

“We’ve got guys out of contract, so that’s got to be a real priority.

“Whatever comes first, I don’t know. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

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