Club News

Lukaku: We're stronger now

Striker hoping team can kick on in front of home hordes

ROMELU Lukaku believes Albion have come through a testing time a stronger team as they prepare to entertain Sunderland tomorrow (ko 3pm).

The 19-year-old striker’s tenth goal of the season in the Baggies’ 2-0 win at Liverpool ended a six-game winless league streak.

And Lukaku reckons their Anfield display is a turning point in the campaign, with a victory over the Black Cats guaranteed to lift Steve Clarke’s men up to seventh in the Barclays Premier League table.

“I saw the West Brom at the beginning of the season with the defence very compact and tight and efficiency at 100 per cent,” said the Belgium international.

“If we had three chances we would score two goals, which means a lot.

“At some points against Liverpool we played good football, especially in the last half-hour when I came on and we dominated the game and everybody was doing their work.

“When I came on there were open spaces where I could show my qualities and make sure we closed out the game, and we did.

“So now is a turning point.

“In training I feel we are getting there, but we are actually better than earlier in the season because we are learning more from the defeats that we had and there have been new experiences.

“Every week in the Premier League is a new experience and I think we’ve learned more.

 “I think we will be better than we were at the beginning of the season.

“We were good but in this league you always want to be better, and I want to be better.

“I want to score more and play more and I have to do my best for the team so we can win.

“I have learned a lot as well now because I have played more and seen a lot of things.

“I am working hard in training every day, doing my extra bits and going to the gym to get myself fit.

“Because at my age playing in the Premier League is not easy, but it’s challenging because it’s something I have always wanted, and now I have the opportunity to do it.

“I am doing it well, but now the challenge is to do it better by playing more games and scoring more goals.”

Lukaku also netted against the Black Cats in November’s 4-2 win at the Stadium of Light and he hopes he can increase his tally tomorrow and help Albion hit their initial 40-point target.

“It was a good performance for the team at Sunderland and I got a goal too, so hopefully I will get another goal at the weekend,” he added.

“We are preparing very well for the game and it’s a game at home where we can show our home crowd we are still there and we can kick-on.

“We have 37 points and Sunderland are not an easy team to beat, definitely not an easy team, but the way we are playing we are capable of beating them and if we do, we will have 40 points.

“When we get there we can kick on.

“We will not relax then either, we will focus on our next target.

“We are so close to that and when you play in European football players notice that it is something great.

“Lots of players moan when they are not playing in Europe once they have experienced it.

“When you play in Europe year after year, and you play in all the big stadiums, it’s nice.”