Club News

Albion skipper points to positive vibe

Midfielder made his 250th Baggies appearance on Saturday

CAPTAIN Chris Brunt has hailed the good vibe that’s in evidence around Albion’s changing room.

The Baggies opened their 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign with an encouraging 2-2 draw at home to Sunderland at the weekend.

Despite sharing the spoils, Alan Irvine’s side dominated the post-match statistics as they enjoyed greater possession, shots both on and off target and corners.

The energy on display was clear for all to see in the goal celebrations which marked Saido Berahino’s successful penalty shortly before half-time.

Three of Albion’s eight summer signings to date made their debuts against the Black Cats while another three were also on the bench, with Joleon Lescott and Cristian Gamboa unavailable.

And skipper Brunt has paid tribute to the good feeling flowing in the Baggies camp.

“The lads have been great this season and we’re working hard for each other,” he said.

“It’s a squad game more than ever now and you’ve got to support everybody around the place, whether you’re playing or not.

“We’ve got a good vibe around the place and the lads are doing well together, if we can keep that going we will have a good chance this season.”

Brunt continued: “We keep going back to the fact it’s all about the squad and, once we get everybody fit and on the training field, we have a decent squad of players and there will be competition for places.

“That’s a good thing and it’s important that we all get together and support each other going into games.

“We did that on Saturday and the atmosphere in the dressing room was brilliant.

“Afterwards we were disappointed but I think we were pleased with the way we played overall.

“Not winning the game was disappointing but there was a lot of stuff we could take out of it as we move on to the next one.”

Brunt, who was forced off in the second half against Sunderland due to a minor knock to his calf, praised the impressive contributions of full debutants Craig Gardner, Sebastien Pocognoli and Andre Wisdom.

But it was forward Berahino, 21, who grabbed the headlines following his opening-day brace.

“He’s got his head down in training and he’s getting his rewards for it now,” Brunt said.

“He scored the goal last season against West Ham to keep us up and he’s started this season well.

“He’s worked hard in pre-season and he got his goals on Saturday, he was a threat.

“I think all the lads did well. Victor was a handful and was a bit disappointed with the chance he missed but he caused mayhem.

“We just need to keep everybody together and working hard. It’s a squad game and we have a decent squad now we have boys coming back from injuries.

“We’re looking up and looking forward to a good season.”