Club News

Gera: Competition's never been stronger

And attacking midfielder targets League Cup tie return

ZOLTAN Gera says he can’t remember a time when there has been so much competition for a starting berth at The Hawthorns – but insists he is ready to fight for a first-team place.

Albion bolstered their attacking options by recruiting Scott Sinclair, Victor Anichebe, Morgan Amalfitano, Matej Vydra, Stephane Sessegnon and Nicolas Anelka during the summer transfer window.

And the 34-year-old attacking midfielder, who returned to full training two weeks ago ahead of his seventh season at the club, admits breaking into Steve Clarke’s side will be tougher than ever.  

“I’m hungry to play,” said Gera.

“I’m in my second week of full training and I feel great.

“I’m enjoying the training sessions and I just want the time to go by quickly so I can get back playing.

“While I’ve been injured, the club has signed some very good attacking players.

“It gives the manager more options.

“It’s great for the team to have more competition for places.

“It is the most competitive it has been for an attacking spot in my whole time at the club. 

“We have so many good strikers, wingers and midfielders, so there is big competition for places.

“I’m sure it is the strongest we have been in those positions in my time at Albion.”

The Hungary international hopes to make his first-team return when Albion host Arsenal in the Capital One Cup third round at The Hawthorns on Wednesday, September 25 (ko 8pm). 

“I have to be patient and make sure I make my comeback when I’m fully fit and ready for games,” added Gera.

“I’m not too frustrated and I’m just happy to be training again.

“I’m excited but it’s important I don’t play before I’m ready.

“Thanks to the doctors, physios, fitness guys and coaches, I am almost there.

“I’ve been working hard on my fitness for around seven or eight weeks.

“If everything is going right then maybe I can play in the League Cup game.

“Hopefully before that I will be able to play in the under-21s.

“I have been busy in training which is normal when you have been out for a while.

“I haven’t felt any problems and I’m getting closer.

“It’s a great feeling.”