And Scotland international praises head coach Clarke
GRAHAM Dorrans insists he is enjoying life at The Hawthorns after featuring regularly for the Baggies since the turn of the year.
The 25-year-old expressed a desire to leave the club during the January transfer window in pursuit of more regular first-team action – but has returned to Steve Clarke’s XI in recent months.
The Scotland international, who has started 11 of Albion’s 15 post-Christmas Barclays Premier League fixtures, says he is pleased to be back on track.
“I'm enjoying my football at the minute and I've played most of the games since the turn of the year,” said Dorrans.
“I had a chat about leaving the club with the head coach in January.
“There was a period over Christmas where I didn't play much but I got back in and I'm playing every week now.
“Had the opportunity came along to go and get games somewhere back in January we'd have looked at it - as the gaffer mentioned at the time.
“Everybody wants to be playing and I wasn't playing as much as I would have liked.
“But I didn't leave.
“I worked away and got myself back in the side.
“Every one of the lads wants to be playing, week in, week out, and I’m no different.
“I still have the same views, in that I want to be playing every week, and if I’m playing here then I’m happy.”
The former Livingston midfielder heaped praise on head coach Clarke for the impact he has made in his first season as a No. 1.
“He's done great when you think it's his first job as a head coach,” Dorrans added.
“It's been an enjoyable experience as we’ve done reasonably well.
“Everyone enjoys coming into training and there's a smile on people's faces - that's a big part of the job, if you can get that right.
“We're playing good football, but he’s also kept us solid.
“That started under Roy [Hodgson] and he's continued it.
“He's done well this season but it will be tougher next season.
“I'm sure he'll have people in mind that he'll want to bring in.
“Hopefully we can improve and achieve even more next season.”
Dorrans will be hoping to extend his winning streak against former Stirling loanee Jay Rodriguez in tomorrow’s trip to Southampton.
The Glasgow-born player twice overcame Saints’ No. 9 during his final year at Livingston in 2008 – but is mindful the striker, who has scored three in his last four outings, is in blistering form.
“He came up to Scotland on loan from Burnley," he said.
“He did well up there, but he's come back down and has done great.
“He's in good form too.
“Southampton are a good side, they've got good players, Jay is one of them, but they have others who can win games too.
“I won both games I played against him, so let’s hope that run continues.”