And skipper gets fitness boost in fight for league placeCHRIS Brunt has described his Huish Park wonder strike in last night's 4-2 win at Yeovil as one of the best goals of his career.
The Baggies skipper led from the front against the Glovers as he picked out the top corner of the net with a 40-yard exocet to level the scores at 1-1 in the Capital One Cup second-round encounter.
And, after an injury-plagued pre-season with a calf problem, he was delighted to get 90 minutes under his belt as he endeavours to break back into Steve Clarke’s Barclays Premier League starting XI.
“I hit it really well and it’s up there with the best I’ve scored,” said Brunt.
“I think I probably took the keeper a bit by surprise and I was delighted to see it hit the back of the net.
“It’s always nice to score and I think for the majority of the first half we played good stuff but we didn’t defend set pieces very well and got punished for it.
“It was nice to get the goal and I think it kick-started us a little bit.
“To go in 2-1 up at half time was a big boost for us.”
He added: “Pre-season was a bit stop-start for me and it was great to get 90 minutes under my belt - I’m starting to feel a bit fitter.
“I was flagging a little bit towards the end but it was nice to get the full game in.
“Obviously Yeovil gave us a good test and they played some good stuff and caused us a few problems.
“But we expected that and came through it even though we made ten changes from the weekend team, which shows we’ve got good depth in the squad.
“It’s important to go out and perform when you’re not in the team on the Saturday and you’ve got to try and prove a point.
“For me it’s about getting match fitness as well and I’ve been around the club for a long time so I’m sure the gaffer knows what I can do for the team.
“It’s important for me to get some fitness under my belt and try to get back in the side for Saturday league games. where we have obviously been going well.
“I don’t think we could have asked for a better start and if somebody had told us we’d have four points from the opening two games we’d have snapped their hands off.”
Brunt was part of the 2008 Albion side that went all the way to Wembley in the FA Cup before losing 1-0 to Portsmouth in the semi-finals.
And, after having whetted his appetite, the Northern Ireland international wants a taste of a cup final, as he looks forward to Thursday's League Cup third-round draw.
“It would be great but it’s pretty early doors,” he said.
“The experience we had at Wembley that year was brilliant and all we were missing that day was the result.
“It was a great day out but it would obviously be nice to go one more and get to the cup final.
"But at the end of the day your bread and butter is still the Premier League.
“I think we’ve got a lot of strength and depth this season and we can maybe hope for a little more from the cup games - but we’ll see.
“To go down to Yeovil with the team that we had and put on that sort of performance does show where we have come as a club in the last couple of seasons.
“The main thing to do was to get in the hat for the next round and we’ve done that.”