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Dorrans catches Foster's eye

14 August 2013

And keeper reveals Clarke's message to him ahead of England-Scotland clash

BEN Foster admits Graham Dorrans is one to watch out for this season as he prepares to go head to head with his Baggies team-mate tonight.

The duo are set to face each other at Wembley for England and Scotland respectively, as the two countries renew their old rivalry.

And, while Foster will be looking to stop Dorrans on the international stage, he is relishing the chance to see if the midfielder can transfer his impressive pre-season form into Saturday’s Barclays Premier League opener with Southampton (ko 3pm).

“He needed that run in the team towards the end of last season because he was in and out before that,” said the Baggies No.1.

“For someone like Graham to get a run in the team is all he needs.

“I get to see him in training and he’s got so much ability, skill and technique. He’s got it all.

“It’s difficult when  you’re a player of his ilk and you’re not in the team to put a string of performances together but towards the end of last season the gaffer played him in nearly all the games.

“He did really well for us then and in pre-season he’s been on fire, pulling the strings sometimes.

“It’s another position we’re blessed in with the likes of Mulumbu, Morrison, Yacob and we’ve got some really good footballers.
 
“He was in and out of the team but everybody wanted him to stay, including the gaffer, and I think everybody is quite happy that he did - including himself.

“People keep telling me about the Championship year when he was incredible and he’s started to show signs of that again.”

Foster played the second of England’s last encounter on home soil as a half-time substitute in May’s 1-1 draw with Ireland.

As well as Dorrans in the Scots’ squad he will also come up against fellow Baggie James Morrison – and he knows which side his club boss and Saltcoats-born Steve Clarke is on!

But he just hopes Albion’s ten internationals on duty during midweek can come through their games unscathed and be fit to face Saints at the weekend.

“I feel really good," he added.

"It’s been a really tough pre-season and we’ve all got through it with no injuries to worry about.

“Fingers crossed we can get through these internationals now and we’re heading into the start of the season pretty much at full strength.
 
“It’s an awkward game because we won’t see each other until Thursday and then we have the first game of the season on Saturday.

“I suppose for teams like Manchester United and Chelsea it’s a bit of a nightmare because every single one of their players is out of the building for three or four days.

“We can only do what we can do.

“We’ve all prepared really well and we look sharp, and as long as we can come through the internationals well I’m sure we will be fine come Thursday.

“Facing Scotland will be nice. Even the Ireland game that we played at the end of last season had a lot of pride at stake and I don’t care what squad Scotland have, they’re going to be giving 110 per cent.

“It’s a famous battle so you know they will be fighting tooth and nail to beat us.

"But we’ve got so much quality in our team and as long as we give 110 per cent as well we should be okay.

“There are a couple I have to watch out for. I know a lot about them and hopefully they won’t score any past England.

“Even the gaffer said good luck to me but I think it was through gritted teeth. I know for a fact he didn’t mean it!”

*Saido Berahino was an unused substitute as he made his first-ever England Under-21s matchday squad in last night's 6-0 friendly win over Scotland at Bramall Lane.

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