Defender eager to build on Cottage point with Hawthorns win over Black Cats
GARETH McAuley hopes Albion can rekindle their impressive home form from last season when they host Sunderland at The Hawthorns on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The Baggies recorded nine victories on home turf last term – their best return in the top flight since 1985.
And the Northern Ireland international has called on his team-mates to build on their hard-earned draw at Fulham.
“We want to get our home form kicked off and our home season going,” said McAuley.
“We were quite good at The Hawthorns last season and we want to get that underway again and get points on the board.
“I don’t think it’s really a pressure thing, we just need to improve on what we did on Saturday, when we stuck to the game plan and came away with a point.
“We have a home game next and we will be looking to get going and that will paint a different picture.”
The 6ft5in defender, who grabbed a stoppage-time equaliser at Craven Cottage, also hopes the old adage of players coming back to haunt their former club applies to deadline-day signing Stephane Sessegnon at the weekend.
“Stephane’s an exciting player,” added McAuley.
“He plays in a few positions, he is a dribbler and he takes people on.
“I can’t wait to see him play.
“It always seems to be that ex-players score against their old clubs, so that would be nice to get him out there and hopefully he can get a goal.
“A lot of the lads have been away in the last couple of weeks but hopefully we can get them integrated into the team and the squad, and kick on from here.”
McAuley insists under Clarke’s stewardship Albion remain the well-organised outfit which finished eighth in the Barclays Premier League last season.
“The gaffer has been fantastic with us players," he said.
“Nothing has changed.
“Everything is methodical, we know what we’re doing and we know how we’re supposed to be playing.
“Everyone is playing for him and it’s maybe a bit of a confidence thing with the lads.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green in a couple of the earlier Premier League games but hopefully with the way we got the point on Saturday, in the dying minutes, it will give everyone a lift to go forwards into this home game and get wins on the board."