Club News

Cup stature appeals to Davidson

Albion host Oxford tonight at The Hawthorns (ko 8pm)

JASON Davidson may be new to English football but he is well aware of the prestige associated with cup competitions.

The Australia international left-back joined Albion over the summer from Dutch top-flight side Heracles Almelo.

He made his competitive debut as a second-half substitute in Saturday’s goalless draw at Southampton in the Barclays Premier League.

England’s top tier may grab the bulk of the headlines but the League Cup and FA Cup hold special appeal as well as the prospect of lifting silverware at Wembley. 

And Davidson is determined to ensure Albion secure safe passage should he get the nod to start against League Two Oxford in tonight’s Capital One Cup second-round tie at The Hawthorns (ko 8pm).  

“Everything in the UK is big, especially the Premier League, and I don’t think that’s just in Australia, I think it’s all over the world,” Davidson said.

“It’s the biggest league in the world and the cups are massive too because the biggest teams play in them.

“I think it (the Capital One Cup) is a great competition because anything can happen.

“You see Premier League teams losing to smaller teams so it’s exciting football.

“Every game is serious, it’s part of our job. You have to concentrate on every game and it doesn’t matter about the opponents.”

Davidson’s chances of making his full senior Baggies debut against the U’s have increased after Sebastien Pocognoli was ruled out with a thigh injury.

Head coach Alan Irvine has stressed his desire to embark on a cup run this term and insists he will be taking the competition seriously.

Davidson, 23, added: “It’s a long season and you need to have depth in the team, so if the gaffer is going to change a few players for this game there are some quality players to come in.

“You want to get 90 minutes under your belt and it’s a great opportunity to have a run-out against Oxford.

“It will be a tough game, as every game is over here, but hopefully we’ll be okay.”

Davidson admitted it was ‘great’ to make his Baggies debut against Saints at the weekend, albeit for the injured Pocognoli on the hour mark.

It was his first taste of competitive action since starting for Australia in all three of their Group B fixtures at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

And having got 30 minutes under his belt on Saturday - on top of the fitness work and two Under-21 matches he has played for Albion - Davidson now feels he is ready for 90 minutes.

“I am trying to catch up with fitness but on Saturday I felt solid and strong and didn’t really feel tired,” he said.

“I think my match fitness is getting better and the only way you get match fit is by playing games.

“So hopefully I can get another run against Oxford in the cup game and get as many games as I can to get back to how I was at the World Cup.

“I think I am ready to play 90 minutes and I need to step up now.

“I’ve had two-and-a-half or three weeks of training and played two reserve games as well as the game on Saturday, so I think I’m ready for 90 minutes now.”