BEN Foster has called on his team-mates to dig deep during pre-season training as the Baggies look to replicate last term’s incredible opening to the season.
Albion recorded their best start to a top-flight campaign since 1953/54 – having won eight, drawn two and lost only three of their first 13 Barclays Premier League fixtures.
And the 30-year-old keeper insists Steve Clarke’s side will again reap the benefits of gruelling double sessions on their return from the summer break.
“We had a really great start to last season and I think our pre-season training schedule really benefited us,” said Foster.
“For the first third of last season we caught a lot of people off guard because of how fit we were.
“That’s exactly what we’ll be trying to do again this season.
“We make no secret of the fact we’re doing long double sessions.
“We start our second session at five o’clock every day.
“But you can see how fit the lads are when the season comes around.
“It will be no different this season.
“There’s no reason why we can’t emulate last season’s start.”
The England international believes he is in the best physical shape of his career – after completing two-hour daily gym sessions on his own throughout the summer.
“The summer I’ve had has been fantastic,” added Foster.
“I managed to get a break but I’ve also been doing two-hour sessions in the gym every day.
“This is probably the leanest I’ve been in my whole career.
“I’m feeling good and I’m feeling strong.
“I haven’t struggled in training so far and I’m looking forward to seeing what pre-season brings.
“I can’t wait for the start of the new season.”
And Foster says new-signing Nicolas Anelka will soon feel at home at Albion – especially once he is able to perform his butterfly celebration at The Hawthorns.
“Nicolas seems a really lovely lad," he said.
“After the first session you could see little glimpses of what he has got.
“He’s going to be a fantastic addition to the squad.
“I’m sure everyone will welcome him.
“We’re all looking forward to seeing him in action.
“I really want to see his butterfly celebration too.
“I always remember seeing him do that when he scored goals at Chelsea.
“It’s an awesome celebration.
“I want to see him do it plenty of times this season!"