Skipper assesses progress so far
DARREN Fletcher is not taking anything for granted as he set out the season’s targets from Albion’s top-10 station in the Premier League.
The Baggies stayed in eighth, four points clear of Midlands rivals Stoke City, after beating Sunderland to claim their fifth win in the last six at The Hawthorns.
It’s got Albion fans wondering whether the team can break the 50-point barrier for the first time in the Club’s Premier League history – or even go one stage further and qualify for European football.
The mood within the camp is certainly buoyant although, Fletcher revealed, the hard taskmaster Tony Pulis soon brought the players back to earth with a gruelling running session on their return to training following the 2=0 defeat of the Black Cats.
That served as a reminder that nothing will be taken for granted which Fletcher was eager to endorse when he was asked about the team’s targets for the season.
“First and foremost, to get 40 points,” replied the captain. “You don’t take anything for granted in this League because it is so, so tough. If and when we reach that, we can look further ahead.
“Can we then get to 50 points? Can we finish seventh? Can we reach European football – if we can finish seventh and the Cup competitions worked in our favour, that’s what we should be aiming for.
“That’s what you want as a player. We want to play in games like that, games that will provide great memories to look back on.”
And “Fletch” is optimistic that eighth place and 32 points with 16 games still to come does not represent a ceiling for this current team.
“It’s good – but it can always be better,” he added.
“We’re in a good position in the League,confidence is there, we feel we are playing well, we’re a hard-working bunch of lads and we are looking to progress game after game after game. At the moment, it’s going in the right direction.
“We’ve made some good signings and we have had good players come back from injury and we know what we are. We’re a good, hard-working team with quality.
“The squad looks stronger although, looking ahead, we can still do with a few signings. But the quality of the players in there, and now waiting to get in the team, is the best since I’ve been here.”