Defender aiming to shut out United tonight (ko 8pm)
JOLEON Lescott has proved a hit for Albion on the pitch – and, likewise, off it when he sat down with the written press earlier this week.
The centre-back, a two-time Barclays Premier League winner with Manchester City, met with national and local journalists to share his thoughts on all things England, Albion and tonight’s clash against Manchester United at The Hawthorns.
Here’s what Lescott had to say in easy-to-read bite-size snippets. Enjoy!
On the international break…
“In this one I went away with my wife, it’s her birthday coming up soon but when her birthday falls I won’t be able to do much due to games. I also spent some time with my family and the kids.
“It’s nice to have a rest, although I’d rather be away on international duty.”
On England aspirations…
“I’ve only ever watched England games like that (with aspirations of playing), I’m a fan obviously and I’ve got friends playing in the team, but I’ve always thought – even before I made my debut and ever since I made it – that I can offer something.
“You’ve got to think that and it won’t change as long as I’m playing.
“I’d never rule myself out (of Three Lions contention), it’s just that I missed pre-season, I wasn’t going to get carried away by the fact I’ve played three consecutive games.
“But if I continue to play in the way I’ve played the last three games right up until the next international break then hopefully I’ll be closer.”
On playing regular football after his final season at Manchester City in which he made just ten appearances…
“I’ve never lost my love for the game, I’ve always enjoyed playing and training, that’s never been an issue. But it’s nice.
“I’ve probably got a lot more responsibility here, obviously Craig (Dawson) is a lot younger than me and we tend to talk a lot, it’s nice to feel that.
“The coaches want to ask me a lot more questions about my experiences, my time at Manchester City and England.
“I enjoy the responsibility because it comes with being a professional.”
On his Albion aspirations…
“Like any team, regardless of your ambitions, you want to progress.
“We finished 17th last season and that’s not good enough. But we’re not looking to finish 16th either, we want to finish in the top half and really do something.”
On Alan Irvine…
“When I was injured, I was so frustrated and gutted for him that I couldn’t show that I wanted to play and that I still had the desire to be a top player.
“I was gutted for him that I couldn’t show him that. But he said, just take your time, I want you right, I don’t want you 80% fit. I don’t want you sitting on the bench, I want you to play.
“That was a weight off my shoulders.
“I think his love for the game is up there with most players, coaches and managers. He enjoys watching all football. He loves what he does, he works extremely hard.
“And I think it shows in the way we’re playing now. Obviously we would have liked to have a good start from the get-go but circumstances with injuries etc meant that it wasn’t to be.
“Now we’re showing what he’s been working on in training – enthusiasm and to be brave, on the ball and off the ball. That’s the kind of thing you need to be.”
On Man Utd’s attacking riches…
“In a way it’s easier because you have to concentrate for the whole game, there’s no way you’re going to be able to switch off and have any kind of distraction. It’s going to be fully focused.
“It’s going to be tough but were confident at the minute, even though we did lose at Liverpool we felt we could have come away with a draw.
“We’re going to be confident going into the game.
“If we do what Leicester did (win 5-3) I won’t be happy, even if we win, conceding three goals.
“Let’s be honest, if you concede three against Man Utd then it’s not often that you’re going to win. We’re not looking to do that.”