Striker strives to retain starting berth
MATEJ Vydra is loving life at Albion as he looks to start his third successive Barclays Premier League match at home to Tottenham today.
The striker was recalled to Pepe Mel’s XI for the 3-3 draw against Cardiff before going on to start last weekend’s 1-0 victory at Norwich – the first time this season he has done so in back-to-back games.
Vydra now has his sights set on a welcome triple against Spurs and is striving to add to the two goals he has managed this term, both of which have come in 1-1 draws at The Hawthorns.
“I have started the last two games and I am enjoying it,” he said.
“If you start two games you feel you can play how you want to. You feel more comfortable.
“I’d like to play all the games but in the Premier League it is difficult, sometimes you can’t play, you need to work hard in training and wait for your chance and take it.”
Vydra is on a season-long loan at Albion from Serie A club Udinese having impressed last term on a similar deal at Watford.
He bagged 22 goals and scooped the Championship Player of the Year award for the Hertfordshire outfit before tasting defeat in the play-off final at Wembley.
And, for him, one of the underlying differences between the top two levels of English football is clear.
“In the Championship, as a striker, you are playing Saturday/Tuesday/Saturday – you have three games in a week,” he said.
“In the Premier League you play Saturday/Saturday. If you don’t score a goal in one game you don’t get a chance on the Tuesday.
“But everyone wants to play in the Premier League and if you see Manchester City, Chelsea etc they have the biggest stars in the world.
“The quality of defenders in the Premier League is also better.”
Today’s game is extra special for the 21-year-old as his family have flown over from his native Czech Republic to watch the encounter.
Vydra is no stranger to living away from his loved ones having moved out of home to follow his dreams of becoming a professional footballer at the age of just 11, before then switching to Italy seven years later.
And after two years on these shores he admits he is a big fan of life in England.
“If I could play my whole career in England then I would do. I love England,” Vydra added.
“The people are calm, easy and friendly – they help you. It’s nice.”
Albion are in buoyant spirits heading into the clash against Tottenham following last weekend’s success over the Canaries.
Head coach Mel is still waiting for his first win on home soil, where Albion have drawn five of their previous six matches.
Sixth-placed Spurs arrive in the Black Country having lost their last three league fixtures away from home, conceding nine goals in the process and failing to score.
“The win away at Norwich was very good,” Vydra said.
“This week has been a little bit different because when you have three points you are a little bit calmer on the training pitch. Everything is much easier.
“We have great quality, the last four games we have won two, drawn one and lost one so I think now we are seeing how much better we can play.
“We are a good team. We can win against Tottenham.
“We want to stay in the Premier League and we work for this.”