YOUSSOUF Mulumbu has set himself the challenge of departing for African Nations Cup duty with Albion still in the Barclays Premier League top six.
The tournament takes place in South Africa between January 19 and February 10, with the DR Congo international set to miss some key top-flight matches for the Baggies.
But, while he admits it was a tough decision to commit himself to his first African Nations Cup finals, he is confident his fifth-placed Albion team-mates have what it takes to cover in his absence.
“It’s exciting,” said Mulumbu.
“It’s the first African Nations Cup for me.
“I’m a little bit scared to let West Brom down because I won’t be here for three weeks.
“But we have many players who can replace me and I have to go to the African Nations Cup.
“It was a big choice to decide if I go but I have to because it is my country and I need to be there for our fans, for our people.
“We face Mali, Niger and Ghana and I think we can go through in this group.
“Hopefully we can also play Nigeria and I can beat Peter in the semi-final!"
He added: “Hopefully I won’t get injured and I’ll be back for the rest of the season with West Brom.
“My aim is to ensure Albion are still in the top six before I go off to the African Nations Cup.
“I think we deserve to be where we are and I think we have to aim for that going forward.
“I think it’s a great season for us and we can do something really special.
“I’m looking forward to going to the African Nations Cup but I’m looking forward to coming back and being part of West Brom’s season.
“I’ve checked the table and the games, and I know we can stay there – I hope so anyway.
“So, let’s work and see what happens.
“I’m confident because we’re playing really well.
“At the start people were saying it’s only the start – but now we have shown we are confident on the pitch.
“We don’t make the same mistakes we did before, we play, we create some chances, and we have Longy, Lukaku and Peter to score up front.
“I’m happy with that.”