And defender insists Albion will show no fear - but Arsenal remain favouritesSTEVEN Reid says he only needs to look in his team-mates’ eyes to see no words will be needed to lift themselves ahead of Saturday’s clash with Arsenal (ko 3pm) after back-to-back defeats.
The Baggies right-back returned to first-team action after a two-month injury lay-off in last Saturday’s harsh 1-0 defeat by Stoke.
And even during his spell on the sidelines he insists he has seen a growing maturity in the Albion dressing room – and a group of players that know what is needed to bounce back.
“The team we’ve got now has got leaders throughout the team,” said Reid.
“When I first signed that probably wasn’t the case, if I’m being honest.
“Now we’ve evolved into a squad that has got leaders.
“We have Brunty [Chris Brunt] as captain, Jonas [Olsson], GMac [Gareth McAuley], and me.
“We’ve got senior players throughout the team, James Morrison is quite a senior lad in terms of appearances and the way he’s been playing.
“We can look at each other and know we’ll give it our all, dig in together, win together and lose together.
“I think we’ve got enough about us to get over these two defeats and go on and get some more good results.
“It’s important now that we don’t let it slip, don’t get complacent and continue to pick up points.
“You can easily get dragged back into mid-table and it’s important we get a couple of results quickly and try and stay in the position we’re in.”
Despite the Gunners’ sitting tenth in the table – five places below Steve Clarke’s men – Reid believes the hosts will start as favourites in the Emirates Stadium encounter.
But he insists Albion have nothing to fear after once again proving they can beat the Barclays Premier League big guns with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea last month.
“I think we’re still going there as underdogs – there’s no two ways about that,” he added.
“I know we’re above them in the league but Arsenal are still a good team.
“We know that.
“But, if we play to the top of our ability on Saturday, there is no reason why we can’t go there and get a result like we did two seasons ago.
“They’re having a bit of a difficult period at the minute but when you go to places like that and they’re having a difficult period, don’t be surprised if they come at you all guns blazing.
“They’re going to want to be proving their critics wrong, I’m sure they’re all behind the manager and I’m sure they will want to prove that on Saturday.
“It’s a tough game going to Arsenal anytime, they have top players.
“It will be a tough afternoon but I’m fully confident we can get a result.
“We’re confident in the group we’ve got, we’ve been performing well against the top teams since I’ve been here.
“We’ve been to the Emirates and got a result.
“We’ve got a result against Chelsea again this season.
“We’ll go there with nothing to fear, we’ll try and play our own game, and worry about what we’re going to do, and not much about what Arsenal are going to do.”
The former Republic of Ireland ace also believes Arsene Wenger’s side are in a period of transition following the departure in the summer of last season’s 30-goal top scorer in the league Robin van Persie.
“It’s a difficult time for them as they’ve lost their main man from last season in van Persie,” he said.
“He scored something like 30 goals last season and that’s not easy to replace overnight.
“They’ve bought in a few new players this season, like Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud.
“So, it’s going to take a little while for those players to find their feet, which I think they are doing.
“The players they have brought in have started pretty well.
“It’s always going to take a little while to adapt but they are still a top team and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are in that top four come the end of the season.”