Club News

Big guns chasing Euro dream

Foster, Long and Lukaku all give their verdict on where Albion's season could go now

ALBION’S big guns have set their sights on chasing a European dream after hitting 40 points before the end of February.

The Baggies’ 2-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday saw them move up to seventh in the table, with 11 games remaining.

They are seven points behind Arsenal, who in fifth currently occupy the final Europa League qualification spot, although further places could be up for grabs depending on what happens in the domestic cup competitions.

And, while Ben Foster is first looking to overhaul the club’s best-ever Barclays Premier League points haul of 47, he has one eye on a European spot.

“We said at the start of the season we wanted to beat last season's points total and we are well on course to do that,” he said.

“It's a cliché, but the main thing was to get safe, reach the 40-point mark and then see where we are.

“To do that before the end of February is a real achievement for a team like us. 

“We are really happy with that, we'll take each game as it comes and just enjoy it I suppose.

“The gaffer keeps reminding us Europe is a realistic aim.

“We'll just keep going and now we have our full team back there's no telling where we might go.”

Shane Long added: “The next target is 50.

“Wth Everton losing at the weekend, we are back in the chase for the top six or seven so we've got to aim high now, kick on in the next few games and pick up a few points on the road.

“We may as well aim for Europe. 

“I think we've got a good enough squad to do it, the way we played on Saturday at times was very good.

“We've a few tough games between now and the end of the season but we managed to win at Liverpool and put in a good performance at Manchester United.

“We go to Chelsea after nearly winning there last year so hopefully we can go down there, get a good result and kick on from there - but it is not going to be easy.”

Saturday’s two-goal hero Romelu Lukaku, who is now just three strikes away from equalling Peter Odemwingie’s club record of 15 in a Barclays Premier League campaign, is also aiming to fire the Baggies into Europe.

“We have 40 points but now we have to aim for more,” he said.

“We have to step up our game a little bit because there are 11 games to go and we are so close to Europe, we are so close and you can smell it.

“For me, after playing in Europe with Anderlecht when I was younger, you want to do it again especially in the Premier League, that's the best thing that can happen to a young man's career.

“I just want us to get into Europe. If it is with more amount of goals than Peter scored, okay. 

“But we have to win games and okay, I'm a striker and I have to score, but I also have to defend because I'm the first line of defence when we don't have the ball.”