Club News

Foster: Our best can give Chelsea test

And keeper says Odemwingie still has key part to play

BEN Foster believes a full-strength Albion are a match for anyone in the Barclays Premier League as they prepare to face current European Champions Chelsea on Saturday (ko 3pm).

The Baggies have secured back-to-back victories over Liverpool and Sunderland after a six-game winless league run.

And the former Manchester United goalkeeper insists it is no coincidence the upturn in fortunes has come about with the return to fitness of key players like Steven Reid, Claudio Yacob and Youssouf Mulumbu.

“I think we got to the 30-point mark really quickly and then we went six without a win,” said Foster.

“Everyone was saying 'that's it, our season's done.'

“But we have cracked on now, we have players back, and we are going in the right direction.

“Coming off the back of five defeats out of six it has been some way to turn things around.

“The boost we got from beating Liverpool was amazing.

“It just lifted all the negativity around the club.

“We have cracked on from there.

“Training last week was sharp and the lads have been on fire.

“I thought we played well on Saturday and we would have been quite disappointed if we hadn't won in the end.”

He added: “Having a full squad to pick from helps.

“Having Claudio and Youssouf back in central midfield and Lukaku and Longy up front really does change the way we play our football.

“We created a lot of chances in the first half on Saturday. I thought the second would always go that way. They were chasing a goal and had to give it a go.

“I hoped the second goal would kill them off but they got one back almost straightaway to make for a nervy finish.”

Shane Long has echoed the Albion No.1's thoughts ahead of the trip to Stamford Bridge, where he gave the Baggies the lead last term before harshly losing 2-1.

"We've a few tough games between now and the end of the season," the Ireland international added.

“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.

“You look at their line-up... 

"We are not getting ahead of ourselves.

“We know it will be a tough task but we are confident in the way we are playing that we can put up against any team.”

Foster was also pleased to see Peter Odemwingie back in action against the Mackems after his January transfer window saga.

And he believes the Nigeria international can have a significant impact during the Barclays Premier League run-in.

“I thought he did really well for us when he came on," he added.

“He is a good player for us, it's as simple as that.

“He's an important player when he is on form, and we are glad to have him back in the team.

“He was on fire in training last week.

“We don't even talk about it in the dressing room anymore, you have got to move on.”