And midfielder says Spain trip will help find 'identity'
JAMES Morrison has hailed the instant impact new signing Thievy Bifouma has had at Albion.
The on-loan Espanyol forward impressed on his first Barclays Premier League start in Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with title-challenging Chelsea, after notching on his debut at Crystal Palace.
Now Morrison insists the Baggies’ six-day training camp in Spain is the perfect opportunity for Thievy and his Albion team-mates to pin down an ‘identity’ under new head coach Pepe Mel.
“He’s done really well in the two games he’s had and hopefully he can keep that going.
“He’s brought a bit of freshness to the camp.
“I didn’t know too much about him but credit to him for coming in and showing people what he can do.
“The Spain trip will be a good for trying to get used to the gaffer, how we’re going to play, and what system suits us.
“Hopefully it will give us a bit of identity.
“Hopefully we can get used to the head coach and he can get used to everybody because it’s still very rare that we all get together like this, and it is quite a new team with new faces, so hopefully we can mingle and have some fun.”
Morrison has started four of the five games under Mel's regime, only missing the Liverpool clash due to a calf injury.
And he is thriving on his run in the starting XI.
“It was frustrating at the start of the season,” he added.
“For six years I’ve been a regular and a main player, so not to be involved was hard to take.
“I probably didn’t take it as well as I should have but a new head coach coming in gives you a new lease of life and over the last few weeks I think my performances have been good.
“It’s difficult when you’re not playing for five or six games and then you start a game. It is difficult.
“And I haven’t really played my proper position too much. But every time I’ve played there I think I’ve performed.”
The Scotland international admits there was a sense of relief after their last-gasp draw with Jose Mourinho’s men.
The result saw the Baggies move out of the bottom three, with 12 games remaining, as they showed the fight they need to beat the drop.
“It felt like a good draw, especially after the last couple of weeks being all doom and gloom,” said Morrison.
“There’s been a lot of negativity but hopefully we can build on that performance.
“It was a fighting performance and everyone gave it everything.
“We had chances to win it. Saido had a chance at the end with a header and Craig Dawson had one from a corner.
“I could have done a bit better with a shot, so we had good chances against a really good Chelsea team.
“We’ve been spoiled over the last couple of years with eighth, tenth and 11th-place finishes.
“That’s a fantastic achievement and this is the first time in a while we’ve been in trouble.
“But I said at the start that this season was going to be really tight and we saw last season that odd points here and there can make a big difference.”