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Brunt targets pre-Christmas hat-trick

PUBLISHED

07:00 7th December 2013

Midfielder eyes positive results from next three games

SKIPPER Chris Brunt has called on his team-mates to get back to basics at The Hawthorns – ahead of this afternoon’s clash with Norwich (ko 3pm).

Albion recorded nine wins on home soil last term – their best-ever Barclays Premier League home return – but have struggled to rekindle that form so far this season.

The Baggies head to Cardiff a week today before hosting Hull on Saturday, December 21 ( both ko 3pm). 

And the Northern Ireland international hopes Steve Clarke’s 13th-placed side can begin climbing the table with positive results from their pre-Christmas fixtures.  

“The next three games are games we think we can get some positive results from,” said Brunt.

“That’s not disrespecting those teams, they’re all doing okay themselves this season.

“We need to start picking up more points, especially at The Hawthorns.

“Our home form hasn’t been as good as it was last year and that’s something we’re looking to turn around.

“With the squad we have we’re capable of doing as well as, if not better than, last season.

“The next couple of months are important for us if we are to do that.

“If we can win a couple of home games then we can begin looking up the table.

“We need to put some distance between us and the teams in the bottom half of the table.”

Brunt has started Albion’s last five games after injury and competition for places limited his first-team opportunities earlier in the campaign.

And the club captain says he will need to be at his best to stay in the XI with a number of players chomping at the bit on the sidelines.

“It’s great to be back in the side,” added Brunt.

“The results haven’t been great in the last couple of games but I’ve been happy with my own performances.

“I’m getting fitter as the games come.

“Hopefully I can keep going strong during a busy period for the club.

“We’ve got a lot of football coming up and we have a big squad to deal with it.

“I’m looking forward to contributing in any way I can.

“I’m ready for what will be a busy period.

“I got a goal last week and a couple of assists in other games so hopefully I can keep that going over the next couple of months.

“I’m in the team at the minute but that means that someone else is in the position I was.

“For that reason it’s important to train hard and play well to keep your place in the team."

Brunt believes Norwich will be difficult to break down this afternoon as they prepare to tighten things up at the back after conceding 14 goals in their last three away games - including a 5-1 midweek drubbing at Liverpool. 

“They come into the game on the back of some heavy defeats away from home," he said.

“They’ll be trying to keep the game tight for as long as they can.

“I think when you do go away from home and get hit for four or five your first reaction is to try to keep things tight next time out.

“The onus will be on us as the home team to try and win the game.

“We’ve got enough players in the squad who are capable of winning games for us.

“It’s a difficult time to judge Norwich on because they’re going to be looking for a response.

“They’ll be hoping to get a result for their manager as well.”

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