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May, 7, 2013

Mulumbu: Dangerous to relax

Youssouf Mulumbu has sounded a rallying cry to his West Bromwich Albion team-mates that they must not let their season fizzle out over the final three matches.

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The midfielder was hurt by Wigan Athletic's late win at The Hawthorns on Saturday and says a more professional approach will be required during a run-in that continues at Manchester City on Tuesday night and concludes at home to their successors as champions, Manchester United.

"We're going to go there to win or draw," he said of the trip to the Etihad Stadium. "It's exciting to play against a big side. Man City away and Man United at home... we're going to be ready.

"We don't even need the gaffer to speak a lot when we play against big sides. We will be ready to do something.

"Sometimes it's hard when you don't have a target. We're going to try to do something with this season because we don't want to let it go like this.

"You play and you enjoy but that's dangerous because you sometimes relax. I don't want to do that. If we just dropped at the end, it will be a shame.

"I will give my best and my team-mates are going to do the same to win the points. That's for the fans as well. They deserve that. We don't want to just mess about at the end. We could win three more points and be close to Liverpool."

As happy as the DR Congo international and his team-mates are to be leaving the relegation jitters to others, Albion are in danger of becoming an end-of-season sideshow.

Having lost to a Wigan side battling against demotion, they tackle the other FA Cup finalists and then have a Sunday trip to a club who are in considerable peril at the foot of the table, Norwich.

And Mulumbu will be quite happy if City minds are elsewhere. "If they do that, it will be good for us," he added. "But they've got a big squad. Every player is good.

"I'm looking forward to playing against them. It's a big test for West Brom to see where we are. If we win, that will be great.

"We don't need to be scared about City or United. We show some good things against big teams. I'm really confident and hope we're going to win. You never know. They have got to play an FA Cup final, so, if they change their team, we don't mind."

Mulumbu, who remains relaxed with the on-going discussions over a new deal for him at The Hawthorns, is likely to have James Morrison back at his side against City.

The Scotland international was nursed back from a groin injury by being introduced as a substitute at the weekend and is challenging for a starting place.

Chris Brunt and Goran Popov remain probable absentees through injury, though, and head coach Steve Clarke knows the going will be tough.

"It's a good game for us," he said. "They are the champions of last season and will want to finish well. They're a top team, packed full of quality and internationals, and they always play well at home. They have some fantastic players.

"Our squad is stretched but we'll have a side which will compete and hopefully make up for our result against Wigan. There is no pressure on us. Everyone expects us to not get a good result but we are very determined to make up for Saturday's disappointment."

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