Stopper says back-to-back wins could make all the difference
BEN Foster has called on his team-mates to back up Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Liverpool with a win at Crystal Palace on Saturday (ko 3pm).
The Baggies are 16th in the Barclays Premier League table and only superior goal-difference has them above the Eagles as both teams sit a point clear of the relegation zone.
But a win at Selhurst Park at the weekend could see Pepe Mel’s men rise as high as 11th come teatime should results elsewhere go in their favour.
And Foster believes Albion’s renewed confidence following the Reds stalemate could see them record their first away victory since September’s 2-1 triumph at Old Trafford.
“We're in a dogfight and we have to concentrate on ourselves,” said the England international keeper.
“We'll take confidence from the performance in the second-half and take it into next Saturday.
“There's a lot of people say to me from the outside that we are too good to get relegated. But that doesn't mean anything, really, does it?
“They say over 38 games that if you are relegated then you deserve to be.
“We've got to get on with it ourselves and make sure that doesn’t happen.
“It's all in our hands, we have to crack on.
“If we’d won on Sunday we'd have jumped up to 11th which is incredible.
“If you can put a couple of wins back-to-back, Palace and Chelsea are our next two games, so if we can get something at Palace, then Chelsea at our place.”
Foster says Albion found the correct balance between defence and attack on Sunday and hopes the Baggies can continue to flourish under Pepe Mel.
“Pepe Mel has brought a lot of confidence back in,” he added.
“Training is bright and lively and I think, apart from the first-half here which was a bit dull, the second-half was more like us.
“We’re a lot more attacking now.
“Today was a better balance.
“It was probably a bit too gung-ho against Villa.
“It was end-to-end football and I don't think that's our style of play.
“But in the second-half, when we go to attack, everyone goes for it.
“He has a winning mentality.
“He doesn't want to draw.
“He wants to go and win football matches, that's for sure.”
The Albion No.1 sat out almost four months of this season when a foot injury saw him ruled out until December.
But Foster, who has made nine first-team appearances since returning, believes he is now ready to compete with Joe Hart for England’s starting berth at the World Cup in Brazil this summer.
“It's taken me a while to get fully fit.
“It does take time to get your sharpness back.
“I feel it's back now.
“I want to play in every game I'm involved in.
“I don't want to sit on the bench, it's boring.
“But you've got to look at Joe Hart.
“He's come back into the Man City team and he looks as fresh as a daisy.
“He is a huge asset for the England team.
“He's one of the best keepers I've ever trained with.
“I think he should start in the World Cup.
“As long as he keeps his performances up high then he will be a huge benefit for us in Brazil.
“Don't get me wrong, I want to play! But I've got to be realistic.”