Ridgewell looking to keep Popov at bay
LIAM Ridgewell has backed himself to see off the fresh challenge of Goran Popov for Albion’s left-back slot.
The 28-year-old has been ever-present for the Baggies in the Barclays Premier League this season and now faces fierce competition from the Macedonia international, who joined on a season-long loan from Dynamo Kiev on transfer deadline day.
But Ridgewell, who quickly earned a starting berth at The Hawthorns after joining in January, insists he will thrive on rivalry for places, having kept Nicky Shorey and Joe Mattock at bay last term.
“I think there were three left-backs here last season with me, Shorey and Mattock so there was competition for places all over the gaff,” said the former Blues full-back.
“It would be silly to think you would be the only person who is going to be at left-back all season.
“Obviously, I want to be playing every game but I understand why the gaffer has brought Goran in.
“Hopefully I can play well and do well for the club.”
He added: “If I’m going to be playing at left-back, I enjoy doing it, getting forward and getting involved.
“Hopefully I can come up with a few assists and some goals as well.
“The gaffer wants to get the wing-backs up and wide, getting crosses in and getting in at the back stick, so that suits me down to the ground, it’s perfect.”