CLAUDIO Yacob believes using brains over brawn has stood him in good stead in his first-ever season in English football.
The Argentina international heads to the Britannia Stadium tomorrow (ko 3pm) hoping to turn the tables on Stoke after December’s 1-0 Hawthorns defeat.
And he believes there is more to come from him in his holding midfield role as he continues to grow into the Barclays Premier League.
“Being really physical is not that important, it depends more on your game in my position and then you have to think,” said Yacob.
“I’m not as big as a lot of the players here but I’m fit.
“It’s not easy to adapt.
“But it depends on how hard you work on it.
“I spend a lot of time trying to be as fit as possible.
“I believe I can give more and I will get better.
“It’s very competitive.
“Every match is a fight and there is no easy game.
“It is very passionate and I really enjoy playing in the Premier League.
“I know I have to work really hard to keep on performing.”
He added: “Stoke are a difficult team to play against.
“The players are tall and big and we have to be clever to beat them.
“There are a couple of teams in Argentina that play like Stoke.
“I’m ready for the battle."
The former Racing Club de Avellaneda star is delighted his injury problems are behind him after being ruled out for seven weeks during December and January due to a hamstring problem.
He admits it was a frustrating time for him but he has now started the last five games – helping the eighth-placed Baggies secure three wins.
“I’ve never been out for so long before and it was frustrating,” said Yacob.
“It took too long to get better.
“I really wanted to be playing because the most important thing is West Brom getting as high up the table as possible.”