Club News

Mozza is an Albion Star Bar!

James reveals he overcame 'chocolate' ankle to hit late leveller

JAMES Morrison claimed his last-gasp leveller at Tottenham is one of his sweetest goals – after playing on with his fragile ‘chocolate’ ankle!

The Scotland international needed treatment inside the first minute at White Hart Lane after twisting the joint.

But ‘Mozza’ soldiered on and proved to himself that his limbs are more ‘Crunchie’ than ‘Flake’ – by popping up with a fine 91st-minute equaliser!

“I rolled my ankle in the first 30 seconds but didn't want to come off,” he reflected.

“I said I was okay and wanted to carry on.

“I looked at the clock and for 20 minutes I didn't really touch the ball.

“But I got through it and got my rewards at the end.

“It was just a freak roll of the ankle.

“Last week, I was struggling with my other ankle after I did it in the Scotland international.

“This time it was the other one.

“I think I’m made of chocolate!”

Morrison went on: “We had to dig in because it was a game of two halves.

“Spurs dominated the first 45 but we limited them to not many chances.

“At half-time, the gaffer gave us a few pointers about trying to keep the ball, pushing forward and stopping them having time in possession.

“It worked. Everyone seemed to get more time on the ball.

“We passed it from side to side and had chances to win it.”

Two of Albion’s new boys, Claudio Yacob and sub Romelu Lukaku, caught the eye for the second week running as Albion made it four points from two tough opening games. Markus Rosenberg also made his debut as a 78th-minute sub.

Morrison says all of Albion’s summer recruits already feel part of the furniture – and they had to sing for their supper on the eve of the White Hart Lane clash!

It is tradition for any new signing to ‘perform’ in front of their club-mates at the team hotel on their first away trip.

And Morrison joked that Simon Cowell may soon be hearing from them!

“Everyone has to choose a song and Rom did some rap,” he said.

“He wasn't very good!

“Claudio did some kind of Salsa dance, which was entertaining, while Markus did a Swedish song, which was shocking – but also entertaining!

“I think they’re going on X-Factor in a few weeks!”

Morrison added: “Rom's big and strong. He's been looking really sharp in training and was unlucky not to get another goal on Saturday.

“Claudio is a ball winner, a bit like a Mascherano – that type.

“He was captain of his last club so he's a bit of a leader on the pitch and good to have in the team.

“Good players adapt very quickly and he’s been able to do that.

“He’s been a good addition – like all the lads this summer. Everyone has fitted in really well.

“We’ve worked really hard in pre-season and it’s showing on the pitch.”

England boss Roy Hodgson was at ‘the Lane’ to see his old team in action for the first time since swapping The Hawthorns for Wembley in May.

Morrison was delighted ‘to put on a show’ for his former head coach – and underline the progress the team are making under their new chief.

“With Roy last year we were very solid and we showed at Spurs we still have that in us,” he said.

“Roy did a great job and the lads have a lot of respect for him.

“Steve hasn't changed too much. It worked last season so there was no need.

“But he's tweaked a few things.

“He makes us train very hard and is very dedicated.

“His training is very good and he’s getting the best out of us.

“It's all about possession, keeping the ball, moving it around quickly and keeping that shape.

“As for our start, we would’ve taken four points if we’d been offered them.

“We never get an easy start. We had Man United and Chelsea last season and we've been at Arsenal in the past.

“That's why we had to work hard in pre-season.

“We’ve got to push on now. We can’t just rest on this.”

Albion’s next game – in Capital One Cup Round Two at League One Yeovil tomorrow (ko 7.45pm) – will offer an altogether different test.

But Morrison claims Clarke and the players will be taking the competition seriously.

“Big clubs try to bring young players through in the Capital One Cup and it’s an opportunity for us,” he said.

“There is no better feeling than winning a trophy and getting to Wembley.”