GRAHAM Dorrans is hoping he gets the opportunity against Southampton on Monday (ko 8pm) to build on impressive back-to-back displays against Manchester City and Newcastle.
The Baggies midfielder, who suffered an injury-plagued 2011/12 campaign, got only his second full top-flight 90 minutes in almost nine months under his belt at St James’ Park.
And he admits his performances in harsh, last-gasp 2-1 defeats by two of last season’s top-five sides have given him a huge confidence boost.
“I feel a lot fitter now I’ve got a couple of starts in a row under my belt,” said Dorrans.
“They were disappointing results, especially conceding so late in the games, which is hard to take.
“But we’ve got another big game on Monday and we’ll be looking to take three points from that.
“I need a run of games to gain my match fitness.
“You can do as much training or as much fitness work as you want but it doesn’t get you match fit.
“The more games you play the better you feel – and that’s what I’m starting to feel.
“As a whole team I felt we should have taken three points in both games.
“They were tough games against the champions and then away at Newcastle.
“But on the whole I think we did well and, personally, I think I did okay in the games.
“I need to keep going and keep getting as many games under my belt so I can get to where I want to be.
“I feel I’m ready to kick on and get a run of games.
“But the head coach decides what the team is and he changes his team every now and then.
“I just need to wait and see what team he puts out – but I feel ready and always do.
“Getting these run of games is making me feel a lot sharper and fitter.”
The Scotland international says the points are all that matter against the Saints, after coming away empty-handed against City and the Magpies despite playing well.
And, although Nigel Adkins’ 19th-placed outfit have yet to take a point on the road, Dorrans is expecting a tough game at The Hawthorns.
“There are no easy games in this league but we’ll be going into the game on Monday looking to get three points,” he said.
“We’ve had two disappointing results but we’ve played really well in both games and hopefully, even if we don’t play as well on Monday, we get the three points, as that’s all that matters.
“But they’ve got good players.
“I remember playing them in pre-season before the start of last season and they were a good team.
“It will be tough because they’ll be coming here thinking they should be getting points.
“They’ve been to some tough grounds – Arsenal, Everton and West Ham are hard places to go.
“I’m sure they’ll be looking to come here and get their first away win.
“But we’ll go into it confident because of our previous two games.”