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Jimmy Shan urges West Brom not to get distracted by play-offs

West Brom caretaker manager Jimmy Shan has urged his players to concentrate on their final two Sky Bet Championship matches before considering the play-offs.

Albion clinched a top-six spot with a 0-0 draw at lowly Reading. They had the better of the first half but Hal Robson-Kanu and Jacob Murphy were denied by home goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez.

Although Reading dominated after the interval, they had to ride their luck as both Rekeem Harper and Jay Rodriguez struck the woodwork for West Brom.

Albion are now likely to face Midlands rivals Aston Villa in their play-off semi-final.

“We have to first look at ourselves and it’s all about creating momentum now,” Shan said.

“You can build that in many ways. You can have a winning momentum, you can have a performance momentum.

“We’ve just got to tackle the next two games. We’ve got Rotherham and Derby left.

“We’ll then see after the Derby game where we finish, our final placing and where we are.

“We’ll then see what our picture looks like.”

Shan added: “I thought that it was a slow first half today. The pitch was quite dry and the ball didn’t travel very quickly.

“I don’t think that we really got going. I think we underestimated how much control we could have had.

“We could have been a lot more patient.

“The second half was a frantic game at times. Reading looked a threat on the counter but I thought that we defended very well throughout.

“We looked a constant threat in and around the final third, which is pleasing.”

With two matches left, Reading have as good as avoided relegation.

They have a six-point advantage over 22nd-placed Rotherham and a vastly superior goal difference.

Reading manager Jose Gomes said: “We haven’t finished yet.

“My experience in football says that if it is not yet mathematically safe, then we cannot relax.

“We must keep the same energy and the same mentality until the end of the season. It’s a professional thing.

“All that is missing is the last steps and then it’s 100 per cent sure that we will be playing in the Championship next season.

“The players can perhaps relax and celebrate a bit now but we have training tomorrow.

“We must finish the job and then we can really celebrate.”

Gomes added: “It was a fantastic game today. If I was watching this game from the stands, I wouldn’t know which team was fighting at the bottom of the table and the team that was fighting for promotion.

“I think I would say that it was Reading who was fighting for the promotion.

“My players showed such strong personality and strong character.”