Club News

Settled Seba's on song - Irvine

Baggies defender has resumed training after thigh injury

ALBION left-back Sebastien Pocognoli has made a rapid rise having now adapted to the English game and settled in his new surroundings, according to head coach Alan Irvine.

The Belgium international arrived at The Hawthorns in mid-July from Bundesliga outfit Hannover 96, having gained top-flight experience in his homeland as well as Holland and Germany.

Pocognoli subsequently needed the pre-season fixtures to get used to life in English football, while the club's summer training camp in Sacramento also enabled him to bond with his new Baggies team-mates.

And the subsequent results have been there for all to see, with the solid 27-year-old quickly becoming a fans’ favourite for his tough tackling and strong desire to get forward.

Irvine said: “Pocognoli actually probably shows how players can settle in.

“Some of the things he did when he first came, because of the culture he has come from, they play in a different way. His background is in different countries obviously, they play in one particular way that we don't do.

“We play more zonal than they do, they follow players in. 

“Coming in, Sebastien needed the pre-season at the start as well. He has had a really steep curve in terms of improving.

“I think in the two league games he played extremely well. But it was only a week or two earlier that he had maybe not played to the levels he can.”

Irvine continued: “He has settled in extremely quickly, I have been really pleased with what he has done. He has come a long way in a very short time.

“He needed that time, he's had that extra time with us. He got the benefit of coming to Sacramento with us whereas so many of the other lads didn't.

“He got the fast-track as far as getting to know the lads is concerned.

“There's no better way than living with them for ten days. That's a fantastic way, he gets to know them, they get to know him.”

Pocognoli resumed training yesterday having missed the defeat at Swansea prior to the international break nursing a thigh injury.