Skipper determined to earn bragging rights for fans against Villa
CHRIS Brunt says his team-mates will be doing their utmost to claim the bragging rights for the supporters in tomorrow's derby trip to Villa (ko 7.45pm).
The Baggies captain has played in eight of the club's last nine fixtures against the Claret and Blues - with Gabby Agbonlahor the only player from either camp's current crop to have appeared in more Albion-Villa derbies (nine).
And Brunt hopes Pepe Mel's side can extend Albion's unbeaten run against the Villains to seven games with a victory over Paul Lambert's outfit.
"It's going to be a tough game as it always is when you go to Villa Park," said the Northern Ireland international.
"It's not exactly like they're flying - but neither are we.
"If we can get a win it would be massive for us.
"Hopefully we can push on then and get higher up the table.
"Villa will be looking to do the exact same thing.
"Our two seasons have probably been quite similar so far and neither team are where they want to be.
"It's also one for the locals who will want to take the bragging rights into work on Thursday morning.
"Hopefully we can come away with the win."
Brunt says his fellow players are buying into the the new head coach's football philosophy and insists Mel's ever-improving English has helped him make an immediate impact on the training field.
"I think his English is okay," he added.
"He apologises for it but we all understand what he's trying to say.
"When he's not too sure he has someone who can translate for him.
"It's been good so far and the first game was different to what we're used to.
"We've been doing a lot of different stuff in training.
"Each coach has their own principles and the new gaffer likes to push high up the field when we haven't got the ball.
"That's going to take some getting used to because it is different to what we've been doing over the last couple of years.
"We're buying into the new philosophy.
"Last Monday was a good start for us against Everton and we're hoping to build on that."