On-loan left-back hoping he gets chance to establish himself as firm favourite at The Hawthorns
GORAN Popov has thanked the supporters and is hoping he gets the chance to establish himself as a firm fans’ favourite at The Hawthorns after his impressive display in Sunday’s goalless draw with West Ham.
The all-action Macedonia international has had to be patient for his chance at left-back due the form of Liam Ridgewell.
And his performance against the Hammers proved a hit with the fans, who honoured him with new chant ‘Popov the Albion man’ to the tune of ‘Popeye the sailor man’.
He is now hoping to keep his place against Norwich on Saturday (ko 3pm) after starting the last two home games and in between coming on for the injured Ridgewell (ankle) six minutes into the Arsenal game.
“I didn’t hear the song the fans were singing because I was just concentrating on the game,” said Popov, who is on a season-long loan from Dynamo Kiev, with a view to a permanent deal.
“But when I went into the changing room they told me.
“Thank you to the fans for that.
“The kitman is going to send to my phone what they sing.
"It’s really nice - I like it because they like me also.
“It’s important I get games because before I didn’t play for a while, I was on the bench.
“Now I’ve had a few games and I’ve shown how I can play, and the supporters can also see that.
“It’s tough for every player because there is such good competition in the squad.”
Popov was delighted to end a run of three successive defeats with the stalemate against Sam Allardyce’s United and is hoping the Baggies can get back to winning ways against the in-form Canaries.
“The first half was not so good but in the second half we played better than West Ham,” he added.
“We had three or four chances in the second half and applied good pressure for 45 minutes.
“We showed good defence and it’s good that we kept West Ham to zero - this is important.
“At home we need to win and the supporters and everyone was waiting for that, so that’s why we can say we’re a little bit disappointed.
“But we played a good game, it was good for us and the supporters can see that.
“One point is not bad and the next game is at home also.
“The main thing was to stop losing games, that’s what the head coach said.
“Now we need to win the next game at home and everything will be good.”