Club News

One gaffer is enough for McAuley

G-Mac discusses his Fantasy Premier League popularity

GARETH McAuley says it’s difficult enough to please one gaffer, never mind the 1.2 million Fantasy Premier League managers who have him in their team.

The Northern Ireland defender, who turned 37 on Monday, has been ever-present as the Baggies have climbed to seventh in the Premier League, scoring three goals in the process.

His form has seen him selected in 29.2 per cent of Fantasy Premier League sides, which makes him the seventh-most-selected player in the competition.

But McAuley, who was born in the small seaport of Larne, finds it difficult to comprehend just how many players of the game are reliant on him each week. 

“It’s hard enough keeping one manager happy, never mind 1.2 million people that are looking for points every week,” he said.

“It’s actually quite funny when you think I’m just a guy from Larne. 

“I’ve got a few goals early in the season and people expect us to keep a few clean sheets, too.

“I think I’m cheap as well so maybe that has something to do with it.”

McAuley has never scored five goals in a Premier League season and aims to at least better that this term – a feat he admits he may need the help of an old friend to achieve.

More goals (Scored 5 for Ipswich in 2009/10 and Lincoln in 2004/05 & 2005/06)

“I’m always trying to improve on what I’ve done before.

“I think my best goal tally is five in a season but that wasn’t here (Ipswich 2009/10 and Lincoln 2004/05 & 2005/06).

“It’s a lot harder to score goals in the Premier League.

“Brunty has reminded me, after watching the video the club put together on my birthday, that I owe him for quite a few of the goals I’ve scored for the club.

“Set-pieces are a massive part of the game, especially in a league where there are such fine lines between winning and losing games.

“Nine times out of ten Brunty’s crosses go exactly where he planned for them to go. 

“Then it’s just about getting on the end of them and if you time your run right then you’ve every chance of scoring.

“If you have the belief, which I do because I know he has the ability to put the ball in the right area, then you can commit to your runs.

“It’s great to see him back and in such good form.”