Baggies No.1 hails duo as he signs off from Albion for England duty in style
BEN Foster admitted he was ‘buzzing’ to be reporting for England duty - especially after signing off from Albion with an impressive clean sheet in Saturday’s goalless draw at Stoke.
The Baggies No.1, who has again made himself available for his country after an absence of almost two years, showed his international credentials in the Britannia Stadium stalemate.
But he was also quick to praise the work of central-defensive duo Gareth McAuley and Jonas Olsson in securing the Baggies’ second shut-out in three away games.
“It really is a pleasure having those two in front of you, especially at a place like Stoke where you know you’re going to have a lot of aerial balls to deal with,” said Foster.
“I know I’ve got two players in front of me who are going to head every one of those balls away, like they did on Saturday.
“It was good.
“It was exactly what we thought it was going to be.
“It was a tough match but I thought our back four particularly did really well and gave them no chances.
“I didn’t really have many saves to make and it was the same for Asmir [Begovic], so it was probably a fair result.
“The rain, the wind and the weather probably helped them at the end because it was all blowing straight at our goal and putting an extra ten or 15 metres on when they were lumping it into our box.
“It wasn’t a pleasant game to play in, and you always know it’s going to be a tough match up at Stoke - we will take a point.”
Foster is now relishing his involvement with Roy Hodgson’s England as he prepares for World Cup qualifiers against San Marino on Friday and Montenegro four days later.
“I’m buzzing,” he added.
“It’s been two years since I was last involved so it’s nice, and to come straight back in with qualifiers will make it a little bit more special.
“They are two important games and two games we need to pick points up from.
“I’ve got a different mindset because I’ve changed my focus to England now.
“After working with Roy last season it was a no-brainer to return.
“I know what Roy is about. He’s a fantastic coach and I think he’s brought a lot to England.
“He’s brought a feel-good factor back to the country and people now seem to want to get behind England and will them on - and that’s really nice.
“I spoke to Roy very briefly and he just congratulated me and I said thank you to him, then he was just telling me about the plan for meeting up and that was it.
“It’s a very exciting time and I’m happy to be back.
“I’m not expecting to play to be honest.
“Joe [Hart] is first choice and I’m more than happy with that.
“Joe is amazing – an absolutely fantastic goalkeeper – and we’re very lucky to have someone like that.
“I’m just there to help out and I’m more than happy to do that.
“We’ve got to be very thankful to Joe.
“He is one of the best goalkeepers in the world and I’ve said many times that he could be England’s No.1 for the next ten or 15 years.
“I just want to be there to help out and if anything happens to Joe I would happily step in.
“But we’re very lucky with Joe.”
And Foster explained how he came to the decision to put himself forward for international action again.
“It’s probably something I’ve built up to,” he added.
“I didn’t really know until the kids started school - and that was a big thing for me.
“They spend every day at school now, so by the time they get home it’s half-past-four, you give them their dinner and a bath and then it is bedtime, so I don't really get to see them as much as I did.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the last six months and it’s something I’m very happy about.
“With age comes the feeling that you don’t want to regret things.
“My kids are a huge part of my life and it would be lovely to show them a few DVDs and caps when they’re older - and the World Cup next year is a huge thing.
“I would love to be able to do one of those because I’ve never done a major tournament.”