RICHARD Garlick is determined to play his part in keeping Albion ‘punching above their weight’ in the Barclays Premier League after embarking on his new role as Sporting & Technical Director (Designate).
The 36-year-old was promoted to the post from his previous position as Legal Director/Secretary earlier this month.
And he insists he is ready for the pressure the job will undoubtedly bring as he takes up the mantle from FA-bound Dan Ashworth during a handover period.
“I’ve worked closely with Dan over the last two-and-a-half years and have seen the ups and downs of football,” said Garlick.
“There have mainly been ups here but there have also been one or two disappointments.
“I’ve seen how pressure can manifest itself and I’ve seen how hard Dan has worked to make it a success.
“I’m really, really excited and geared up to push that forward.
“I’m ambitious and want to test myself. I don’t just want to sit back.
“I’ve been prepared to put my head above the parapet and say ‘yeah, I’ll give this a go, I’ll take the challenge on’.
“I know what it takes to be successful and it won’t be through a lack of hard work if things don’t work out.
“This is something I’m determined to see succeed by building on the solid foundations Dan has laid."
Garlick insists the club should be proud to be currently sitting eighth among the country's elite.
His long-term aim is to see the Baggies battling it out in the higher echelons of the Premier League for years to come.
“Competing in the top half of the Premier League is where we want to be year in, year out," Garlick added.
“Being disappointed when, say, Everton and Liverpool get a result is much better than being disappointed if one of the lower teams, who are seen as your rivals, get a result.
“I’m a strong believer that if you aim to finish high, and things don’t work out, you’ll still finish in a good place.
“If you aim to finish 17th every year then you’ll probably finish around there - and I want this club to be competing in the top half of the table year in, year out.
“Maybe people haven't always given us credit for where we've been this season. We’re currently eighth in the Premier League and have been there pretty much for the whole season.
“We’ve had a bit of a difficult time recently but there is no reason, with the squad we’ve got, why we can’t consolidate where we are.
“And that would be a fantastic achievement for this club.
“Of course, the first target of any season is to become safe - and kick on from there.
“We should always have ambitions to try and better ourselves every season.
“We still have to be realistic. We’ve not got a big benefactor, we’re not a traditional top-six club and we have to look at the size of our club.
“At the moment, we are definitely punching above our weight, but we need to keep punching above our weight and see where it takes us.”