CRAIG Dawson is aware of the importance of today’s clash against relegation rivals Cardiff (ko 3pm) as Albion enter their final eight games of the season.
The Baggies head into the encounter three points and three places above their Welsh visitors at the wrong end of the Barclays Premier League table.
Albion have drawn five of their previous seven league matches at The Hawthorns but victory today would provide a significant boost to the club’s survival aspirations.
And centre-back Dawson, who is aiming to start three successive top-flight matches for the first time in over two years, insists he and his team-mates are going into the clash fully focused.
“It’s obviously going to be a difficult game, we know they’ll come to our home ground fighting for the result,” he said.
“But we just need a performance and obviously it would be great to win.
“We’ve prepared well for this game. We prepare for every game in the same way, looking at the opponents all week and working on different things for each game.
“We’ve got to be positive and the hard work we’ve done in training this week will be great for us at the weekend.
“It’s an important game but every game is important at the moment so we’ll be preparing ourselves mentally.”
A 2,000-strong away following saw Albion triumph 2-1 at Swansea at fortnight ago, while around 2,300 Baggies fans were at the KC Stadium for last weekend’s 2-0 defeat to Hull.
And Dawson knows the impact a strong home backing can have against Cardiff.
“The win at Swansea meant a lot to the fans, their reaction after the game was positive,” he said.
“That’s something we’ll need on Saturday, the fans behind us, especially this weekend, and I’m sure they’ll be there chanting us on.
“I’m sure if we start the game positively and the fans are behind us then that will push us forward.
“The fans will be very important, we’re at home so we need them to be behind us.”