Stopper in positive mindset ahead of City trip
BEN Foster insists Albion must travel to Manchester City brimming with belief as they look to gain reward from tonight’s clash at the Etihad Stadium (ko 8pm).
Albion, unbeaten in three matches, are aiming to continue their recent run of fine form which has seen them collect eight points from the last five games.
It promises to be a tough task against a title-chasing City side looking to close the gap on Barclays Premier League leaders Liverpool at the top of the table.
The hosts head into the game on the back of defeat at Anfield last weekend and a surprise midweek draw at home to Sunderland.
And although Foster remains alert to the obvious threat posed, he feels Albion can travel north in confident mood.
“Chelsea kept a clean sheet at Man City (in early February), and when I was at Birmingham we were the last team before Chelsea to keep a clean sheet there,” he said.
“That was in 2010 but it would be nice if we could replicate something like that on Monday night.
“We know it’s going to be tough but I guarantee every team is looking at their remaining fixtures and trying to pin-point how many points they might get here and there.
“We will go into the City game genuinely believing we can get something. You’ve got to.
“Yaya Toure came limping off (against Liverpool) so hopefully for us he won’t play a part because he’s huge for them. But they’ve got players who can fill in as well.
“We know it’s going to be tough but as long as we keep playing and attacking in the way we have done recently I genuinely believe we can get something.
“We’ve got to believe that.”
Foster will come up against a familiar face in his opposite number between the sticks.
England team-mate Joe Hart has regained his spot as City’s number one having lost his place earlier this season to Costel Pantilimon, who started the Blues’ 3-2 victory at The Hawthorns in early December.
Both Foster and Hart will be hoping to make England’s World Cup squad in Brazil this summer.
And an honest Foster admits his goalkeeping counterpart has proved himself as the Three Lions’ number one.
“When you see Joe in training you get to see what he’s like as a goalkeeper and he’s absolutely brilliant,” Foster said.
“The cream always rises to the top and everybody knows he’s a class goalkeeper.”
Foster added: “In all honesty we’ve got to play the best team we can when we’re at the World Cup and Joe Hart has proven time and time again that he’s England’s number one and I’m fine with that.
“If I’m on that plane I will be delighted. A World Cup in Brazil has to be one of the best life experiences a footballer can have.”
Defender Jonas Olsson will hope to overcome an Achilles injury to face City.
He acknowledges Albion have performed well against the big teams this season – collecting points against the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Everton, Manchester United as well as Tottenham.
And Olsson states he and his team-mates will not approach tonight’s game with fear.
“It's a tough ask but if we can play how we’ve been starting games lately for the 90 minutes then possibly we can get something out of the game,” the influential centre-back said.
“The pressure is on them as well. They're in the title race and it looks like they need to win pretty much all of their games.
“It will be a good game, and Monday night games I always enjoy.
“We don’t fear it, we respect the situation and the task, but we don’t go there with fear.”