16:35 25th July 2013
Midfielder enjoying Baggies battle ahead of Derby trip
GRAHAM Dorrans reckons competition for places in the Baggies camp is already hotting up ahead of Saturday’s trip to Derby (ko 3pm).
The Baggies midfielder insists his team-mates have been doing their homework on the fitness front during the summer break.
And he believes the opening public pre-season games - a 2-1 defeat by Hannover 96 and 3-0 win over Puskas FC Academy - have shown how determined they all are to be part of Steve Clarke’s starting XI come the big kick-off at home to Southampton on August 17 (ko 3pm).
“Pre-season has been good,” said Dorrans, who scored the third from the penalty spot against Puskas.
“It’s been a tough couple of weeks with double sessions every day.
“But I kept myself ticking over in the summer and I’m feeling good.
“The games have been good, I’m enjoying it and hopefully I can keep getting fitter.
“The lads are looking well and we have a big game coming up on Saturday that the lads will all be eager to play in – and get more fitness from.
“It will be a good test.
“Derby's season starts earlier than ours so they will be ahead of us fitness-wise.”
The Scotland international added: “A lot of the lads have been keeping themselves ticking over in the summer and it’s paying off.
“We came in and the lads were looking good from day one – and that’s continued.
“The games are starting to come thick and fast now.
“We looked fit against Hannover and we took a lot of positives from that game.
“In the second game against Puskas, we were up against a relatively inexperienced side, and we looked comfortable."