Club News

Brunt out to exorcise Swans ghost

Record-breaking skipper hopes Albion can make up for last time out at Liberty Stadium

CHRIS Brunt is just two games short of making 200 appearances for Albion – but the only thing on his mind is setting the record straight with Swansea in tomorrow’s Liberty Stadium clash (ko 7.45pm).

The Baggies skipper also became the club’s all-time Barclays Premier League appearance maker in Saturday’s 4-2 win at Sunderland, surpassing former captain Jonathan Greening’s 106.

But, among the landmarks, lingers the disappointment of last season’s 3-0 beating on Swans soil – a defeat he described as Albion’s worst performance of the campaign.

It proved the first leg of a City double over the Baggies last term, as they also went on to suffer a 2-1 defeat at The Hawthorns.

But, with Steve Clarke’s third-placed outfit heading to South Wales in confident mood on the back of a club-record four successive Premier League victories, Brunt hopes they can turn the tables.

“Four wins in a row is another big achievement for the club and things are going really well at the minute,” he said.

“We spoke in the meeting before the Sunderland game how winning four in a row would be a massive achievement but first we had to make sure we would come away with something.

“The manner in which we played and how we did it was great.

“Now we have another tough game and we want to keep things going.

“If we can get five in a row it would be brilliant – but we know Swansea are a good side at their place.

“We got a bit of a hiding down there last season - it was our worst performance.

“Roy [Hodgson] wasn’t very happy about it and in is his time at the club that is the worst we played.

“It wasn’t a good day and we’re looking to put it right.

“But it is a difficult place to go.

“They have a lot of good footballers and it’s going to be a tough night for us.

“But maybe it will be something similar to the Wigan game a few weeks ago.

“We knew they were going to have a lot of the ball but we’ve got the squad and the players to deal with it.

“Hopefully we can keep our run going.”

Brunt watched Michael Laudrup’s ninth-placed Swans battle out a goalless draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

And he has been impressed by the smooth transition they have made in changing managers following Brendan Rodgers’ departure for Anfield in the summer.

“They’ve bought in a lot of foreign players, have kept the same sort of system as Brendan Rodgers, and are trying to play the same way,” he added.

“They’ve added players who seem to have fitted straight into the Premier League, which is not always easy.

“It seems to me they have a good thing going down there.

“I saw most of the game on Sunday and it was pretty even.

“Swansea had a lot of the ball because that’s the way they play, and Liverpool had a few chances.

“I’m sure the coaching staff have watched it, picked it apart, and decided which way we are going to play against them.

“It’s a nice stadium to play in and they’ve got a passionate support.

“Hopefully we can keep them quiet like we did at Sunderland on Saturday.”

The Northern Ireland international has also admitted these are unchartered waters the Baggies are heading into.

“I heard someone saying on the TV that Swansea’s next fixtures were tough,” said Brunt.

“They named Man City, Man United, Arsenal and ourselves.

“It’s not very often we get branded with teams in that sort of way.

“It’s great and we deserve to be there because we’ve worked very hard for what we’ve got.

“But the difficult part is to try and keep it going now.

“We have a lot of games coming up over Christmas and if we can get through that and break through into the New Year in a similar position to now it will be brilliant for the second half of the season.”