"This is what we're in the Premier League for"
TONY Pulis hopes the Albion camp will relish the excitement of a looming Festive period packed with great challenges and opportunity.
The Baggies Head Coach has been surveying the Christmas season’s fixture list with real excitement as he prepares for the start at Chelsea on Sunday – just about the toughest game on the Premier League fixture card at the moment.
While the table leaders will be going for a ninth successive victory, Pulis wants his Albion men to look forward with a real sense of positivity.
“This is a tough period full of difficult games – they are really tough games,” he said.
“But they are great games for the players over the festive period topped off with a wonderful (FA) Cup draw. It’s all bubbling up really nicely at this club at the moment.
“I want it to be exciting especially as we are the only team staging Premier League football and we’re doing well. It’s a great time for us and the players should enjoy it.”
After the trip to Stamford Bridge, Albion tackle Swansea and Manchester United in back-to-back home games and then hit the road for Arsenal and Southampton to reach the halfway mark in the season.
Then the new year gets underway at The Hawthorns with the visit of Hull and that FA Cup opener against in-form Championship outfit Derby.
It’s a tough series of fixtures, admits Pulis, with none tougher than Sunday’s opener.
“Chelsea have all the advantages. They have the squad, the stadium, the crowd, they are in great form – all will be against us tomorrow. Everyone will expect them to win.
“But it’s a chance for my boys to puff out their chests, get out there and not be frightened by it. No game is settled before the kick off and we can win. I don’t want them thinking they are beaten before we start.
“This is what we are in the Premier League for. “