Club News

Morrison on Albion squad, fitness and Scotland duty

Baggies midfielder preparing for Germany clash

JAMES Morrison believes Albion have a squad in place to stand them in good stead for the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign.

It may have been a quiet transfer deadline day for the Baggies yesterday as the window slammed shut on the summer business.

But Albion were the most active team in England’s top tier over the entire course of the close season, bringing in a total of 11 new faces.

Several of those more recent additions are now using the current international break as an ideal opportunity to increase their fitness levels.

Morrison said: “We’ve got a big squad now and we just need to get players fit and pushing for places. I think we’ll be ready to survive in this league.

“We’re only three games in, one defeat (against Swansea on Saturday), we can’t get carried away or let it affect us. We’ve got to bounce back and not let it harm our season.

“One win can see you jump up the table or you can be down there so it will be an exciting season.

“But we’re all together and heading in the right direction.

“There were some disappointed bodies in the dressing room on Saturday but the squad is just gelling and a lot of new faces have come in.

“It’s okay, we’re not going to panic. It’s a long old season and we have to keep going.”

The midfielder added:  “We’ve got a good gap now for the lads to work really hard and (the new additions) to settle in because it’s not easy when you come from a different country.”

Morrison missed the early weeks of pre-season having undergone a minor knee operation.

The 28-year-old worked hard in his recovery and returned as a substitute in the Capital One Cup victory over Oxford before making another appearance off the bench at the Liberty Stadium last weekend.

And he is delighted to be back in the fold and working under head coach Alan Irvine, with whom he has been suitably impressed.

“I was on my own in pre-season with the physios but I have known Alan since I was a boy playing against his teams at Newcastle,” Morrison said. 

“He is a nice guy and he’s good and easy to work with.

“The players have taken to him, the mood is good, everyone is together and enjoying training.”

Morrison’s recovery was enough to convince Scotland manager Gordon Strachan to add him to his squad for Sunday’s international against World Cup winners Germany in Dortmund.

Morrison added: “(Last week was) my third week training but I worked really hard in pre-season to get myself ready. 

“I’ve got another game coming up with Scotland, I look forward to that.

“If I play, I don’t know, it’s great to be playing against the world champions.

“It can’t get any harder or any better, it’s straight in at the deep end which I like."