Club News

Brunt targets friendly boost

And skipper welcomes strike duo

CHRIS Brunt is hoping international action with Northern Ireland on Wednesday will help increase his chances of being involved in Albion’s Barclays Premier League opener with Liverpool on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The Baggies skipper got 21 minutes under his belt as a substitute in Friday’s 2-0 friendly win at Nottingham Forest – his first pre-season action of the summer due to a calf injury.

And a frustrated Brunt is now eager to get more game time under his belt against Finland in Belfast to boost his fitness.

“It was nice to get on the pitch,” he said.

“It’s been a bit of a rubbish pre-season for me.

“It’s never nice to miss any of it but when you miss a lot of it it takes its toll.

“It’s nice to get a run-out – and I got a bit longer than I was expecting.

“I’ll probably know more about where my fitness levels are on Wednesday when I play for Northern Ireland.

“I’ll hopefully get a good week’s training under my belt and get few more minutes in the international.

“I’d like to be involved on Saturday but that will be down to the gaffer.”

He added: “For a lot of the lads it’s probably not the best time for internationals.

“But for me, after missing almost every pre-season friendly, it’s a good time to get a few minutes under my belt.

“I’m looking forward to it.

“The calf felt okay so, touch wood, I can keep progressing with it.”

Brunt believes the Baggies can go into their clash with the Reds full of confidence after wrapping up pre-season with a five-game unbeaten run – and the addition of new strikers Markus Rosenberg and Romelu Lukaku to add to the mix.

“For the majority of the game we controlled it and looked sharp in the first half," he said.
“I think we can take a lot of positives out of it.

“We welcome both the new boys and hopefully they can add something different to what we’ve already got.”