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Page last updated at 09:30 GMT, Friday, 2 May 2008 10:30 UK

Chiles on Championship promotion

Adrian Chiles
By Adrian Chiles
BBC Match of the Day presenter and West Brom fan

A born pessimist I may be, but even I can say there is no way West Brom will mess promotion up against QPR this weekend.

Our draw against Southampton on Monday ensures our goal difference, at least, will take us into the Premier League and, I tell you now, there is not a chance Hull will overturn 13 goals on us against Ipswich to take our place in the automatic promotion spots.

Tony Mowbray applauds the West Brom fans
I'm looking forward to a summer of basking in the glory of promotion

If we don't go up - in the position we're in - that would be my cue to end it all and get out of the game!

But we're up, we're promoted. And I think deservedly so.

With the ball at our feet, we're the best team in the Championship. We haven't set our stall out to play 4-4-2 and grind opposition teams down, we've played great football and entertained.

In fact, we've probably entertained too much! Par for the course from us this season has been to play well, give away a daft goal, and then come back from it.

And so it was against Saints on Monday. I don't mind admitting to a few nerves before the game and what made it worse on a personal note was that I wasn't able to watch most of it as I was filming The Apprentice: You're Fired show.

Every fan feels this way about their team, I'm sure, but it was typical West Brom when I got back to my dressing room to catch the last half hour or so and we went 1-0 down against a team struggling against relegation.

Still, Chris Brunt popped up with that all important equaliser and the party could start. Not exactly textbook, but ultimately successful.

Who will come up with us is still in the balance, of course.

Stoke City deserve to go up automatically, in my opinion, and should get what they need against Leicester to ensure they do, but who will earn promotion from the play-offs is a lot harder to call.

For me, I guess it would be nice to see a team like Bristol City go up, rather than their more 'celebrated' rivals.

At the end of the day, though, all I want is for two teams to come up with us who we have a fair chance of being better than next season. That only leaves one Premier League side who we have to finish above and we'll survive. Nice.

Coming the other way, even though I'm a Baggies fan, I'd like to see Birmingham City stay up. That would make next season very interesting.

606: DEBATE
baggie4ever
That said, Gary Megson is a good friend of mine so I'd like to see Bolton survive, and I'm quite friendly with a few of the Reading players, and I also like Fulham...

I tell you what, I better leave that.

As for us, I just hope we learn to defend better next season or we'll be in some trouble. We can't ship goals like we have this term and survive, that's for sure.

We've got the quality up front to do all right next season. Kevin Phillips, provided we keep him, will be key and we should create chances. Who knows what our spending power will be in the summer but, evidently, we will have to add quality to the squad.

I'm not going to worry about it now, though. In fact, as nice as it would be to secure the Championship title on Sunday, winning promotion is what this season has all been about and we've done it, so I'm not really bothered about that either.

I afforded myself more than a couple of celebratory drinks on Monday night, and now I'm looking forward to a summer of basking in the glory of promotion.

Even my beloved Baggies can't take that away from me on Sunday... can they?

Adrian Chiles was talking to Sam Lyon


see also
Championship's day of destiny
02 May 08 |  Championship
Relegation fears
29 Apr 08 |  Football
Ups and downs
01 May 08 |  Football
BBC Sport's football predictor
15 Mar 08 |  Football
Mowbray wants Championship title
28 Apr 08 |  West Bromwich Albion
West Brom 1-1 Southampton
28 Apr 08 |  Championship
Mowbray wants Phillips to stay on
24 Apr 08 |  West Bromwich Albion


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