Skipper eager to impress after injury comeback
CHRIS Brunt is hoping to put himself in the frame for Albion’s Barclays Premier League opener against Sunderland on Saturday week after seeing his first pre-season action at the weekend.
The Baggies skipper came on for the last 18 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest after only recently returning to training following a groin injury.
And he admits he is surprised by the speed of his recovery as he looks to impress new boss Alan Irvine.
“I think we had a decent ten days’ work in California,” said Brunt, with the Baggies set to visit Port Vale in their penultimate pre-season match tomorrow (ko 7.45pm).
“I can only speak from a personal of view but I think I did a lot more than I expected and came back even fitter than I’d hoped for.
“This week has been like my first week of pre-season so I was feeling a bit leggy on Saturday.
“But from a personal point of view it was nice to get out on the pitch.
“It was pretty similar to a couple of seasons ago when I played 20 minutes there as a first game in pre-season.
“Things have been going pretty well and I felt quite good when I went on so hopefully I can get some more minutes under my belt this week and put myself in the gaffer’s plans for Sunderland in a couple of weeks.”
The Northern Ireland international also insisted there was little point reading too much into the result at the City Ground against a Forest a team who are less than a week away from kicking-off their Championship campaign.
"You want to win every game but you can’t really judge too much on pre-season games,” he added.
“We’ve seen that in the past.
“I think last season we won most of our pre-season games and didn’t start the season too well.
“So I don’t think it’s really got too much bearing on the next couple of weeks
“We did okay.
“We moved the ball about quite well and Forest are a week ahead of us fitness-wise.
“People don’t look too much into that but I think it does make a big difference, especially at this stage of pre-season.
“They’re raring to go and fighting for shirts in their opening league game, so I think the lads did okay.
“We created a few chances and didn’t put them away, their keeper made a few saves and they took their goal pretty well - and the win is neither here nor there really.
“It was another good run-out and the lads got valuable minutes. This week will be pretty important for everybody."