Striker hoping to hit 'Marc' more often this term
MARC-ANTOINE Fortune is hoping to repay the unique support afforded him by Albion fans with more goals this term.
The 31-year-old striker’s selfless displays following his return from a month-long loan spell at Doncaster at Christmas earned him a strong rapport with the supporters.
He may have only netted three times in that period, but his hold-up play and ability to create chances for others helped the Baggies record vital victories over Stoke, Wolves, Sunderland, Chelsea, Blackburn and QPR.
Fortune admits it is not the norm for a striker who is not prolific to be popular with the supporters.
And although he loves the fact the fans appreciate his other qualities, he believes he will need to find the back of the net more regularly to earn a place in Steve Clarke’s starting XI.
“It’s not very often that, as a striker, the fans sing your name when you’re not scoring goals,” said Fortune.
“If you don’t score, normally the fans don’t like you.
“I’m a striker and I want to score goals. I need to improve that stat this season.
“I will work very hard to make that happen.
“If I can continue to play the way I have been and score goals, then that should be even better for the team.
“While I have been here, I have tried to score goals but I also try to offer something different.
“Sometimes, the things I do that are different help us to win games.
“I have to keep going and not just relax because of the last six months, which went well for me.
“In my first season here, I learnt very quickly that you have to really show that you want to play.
“I will continue to do that.”
Fortune recognises he is different from Clarke’s other attacking options and hopes his strength and height will help secure him a starting berth for the season’s opener against Liverpool.
“I’m totally different to the other guys and I hope that’s good for the gaffer,” he added.
“There are not a lot of players that play the way I do and I have to make the most of that.
“That’s good for me.
“If the gaffer wants me to partner Shane or Peter, then of course that would be great.
“I like to help other players and get them involved.”