WITH the Championship playoffs starting on Sunday, I am really positive heading into it for a couple of reasons.

I guess the performance and result at Leeds United last weekend was just the perfect tonic to go into these play-offs games now.

It was a great performance, an excellent win, and something that sets us up nicely now, given the players would have had a full week to prepare and get ready for this match.

We saw how not having a midweek fixture was something that has got to be a good thing for Russell Martin and the squad.

It meant you get that time on the training ground and maybe can have a little bit of downtime as well.

Seeing Ross Stewart come on and play a part in the league game as well sets us up nicely to go into these matches.

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I'm feeling really positive about it and very excited about seeing what happens over the next few weeks.

The players have been used to a long, hard Championship campaign where you are playing two or three games a week.

That can take its toll on the players with general fatigue and trying to recover from the little niggles that you can pick up.

We have had another full week going into West Brom by the time we play. It will be so much more beneficial for the players from a sharpness perspective.

They will have that little edge and that hunger and desire to want to get stuck into the game and give ourselves a good advantage to take into the second leg.

We have beaten West Brom twice in the Championship already this season. It’s one of those little psychological things that gives you a little edge.

They are one-off games, but there's the fact that you're going to be playing home and away.

Given a choice, you would choose to play away and then at home, the way that we are. Hopefully, that is something that will stand us in good stead.

As somebody who is no longer playing and is effectively a supporter, I clearly want the club to do well.

I can't help but feel a little bit nervous about the whole situation because I know what's at stake for everybody.

I know it has always been the goal to get promoted and go back up. It would have been great to have done that via the automatic places.

But we have not done it that way and we are just going to have to do it this way. If you knew you were going to get promoted via the playoffs, it's probably the most incredible way to do it.

There is the added tonic of a day at Wembley and promotion to the Premier League.

The added drama and excitement of it is something that players want and supporters want in seeing their team play at venues like Wembley. It's going to be a very tense but exciting time.

I plan to travel up and watch the match unless something comes in last minute. But the plan is to go to West Brom and watch the game.

Then I am going to be covering the second leg at St Mary's with Sky Sports. So, I'll be either in the studio at the stadium or from the Sky studios in London.

I imagine it might be at the ground, given the importance of the match so I'll be definitely covering both games one way or another.

Away from football, the Saints Foundation three peaks challenge that I recently took part in was a test for everybody in some way, shape, or form.

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I'm just so proud of the effort that everybody put in. It was a brilliant, brilliant team effort by everyone.

The work that went into making it happen, and the organisation of it was just spot on.

Collectively we all came together as a group to do the challenge and help one another through it. It wasn't easy, but it was the most incredible experience.

Knowing we are all raising funds for Saints Foundation and the impact they have with their 15 programmes and projects that they run in and around the city was one of the big driving forces for us all to do what we did.

It was just great getting to chat and spend not just one day on the challenge, but the fact that we travelled up by coach on Thursday, did the challenge on Friday, and then watched Saints beat Leeds on Saturday. It was the perfect trip and the perfect weekend.

But finally, reverting back to the playoffs, it is two games, let's be successful in those, and then we can look forward to hopefully focusing on a Wembley final.

That will be an even bigger day than what these two playoff games are. Let’s all cheer on the players and Russell Martin to make it an ending of the season to remember for years to come.

Best wishes,