Westbrom  Goalkeeper Alex Palmer reveal he wish to keep in Premier League 2024- 2025 ahead of playoff clash…

Alex Palmer watched from the top of the stands as his West Bromwich Albion teammates fell to Aston Villa in the 2019 Championship play-off semi-finals at The Hawthorns – now, five years later, having finally established himself as the club’s number one, he hopes to go at least one better with the help of the vociferous home support.

A heavily depleted Albion were beaten on penalties by Villa, who ultimately prevailed over Derby County in the Wembley final and never looked back. The Baggies’ wait for promotion lasted only a season longer, but they’ve since gone on to spend their longest spell in the second tier for more than two decades. Under Carlos Corberan, they’re underdogs but have enjoyed a consistent campaign and have more than a fighting chance.

The first leg, on Sunday, is on home soil and Palmer – who has had to wait for his chance in the first team longer than most, having finally been granted an extended opportunity in the starting XI briefly before Corberan’s appointment in October 2022 – hopes to experience a similarly generated atmosphere from The Hawthorns, only this time he’ll be in the thick of the action.

“I remember the Villa game, when we were last in the play-offs at home, I was watching and it was one of the best atmospheres I’ve felt,” he recalled. “I was third-choice, behind Sam [Johnstone] and I think [Jonathan] Bondy. I remember watching from the gantry and it was incredible.

To be able to hopefully play in that atmosphere, I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully the fans can make that happen. The fans have stuck with us through a difficult season off the pitch, but whenever we’ve shown up they’ve been great, especially away.”

Palmer, who claimed the Championship’s golden glove award having kept 18 clean sheets this term, is 27 but has only been a regular in the Albion side for 18 months. He hasn’t had to wait comparatively long for a crack at the play-offs, and the prospect of an outing at Wembley at the end of the month, if Albion can overcome the Saints against the odds.

“To have that opportunity (to play in these games), that’s why I’ve said before, you’ve got to take it in, you can’t let it pass you by, you’ve got to enjoy it,” he said. “Obviously there’s a huge amount of pressure on the club and team to compete and do well, but individually you’ve got to take it in and enjoy it. It doesn’t happen often in your career and what we’re looking to achieve doesn’t happen a lot. I’ll be looking to enjoy it as much as possible.”

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