Club News

Brunt on Slavia Prague pre-season test

CHRIS Brunt wants his Albion team-mates to approach Wednesday’s opening pre-season friendly with two targets in mind.

The Northern Ireland international would like to see as many players as possible gain valuable minutes against the Czech champions, Slavia Prague, in Kumberg (ko 5pm local time). And he's also keen for the Baggies to kick the 2017/18 season off with a victory.

Tony Pulis' men have been in the Austrian Alps for the past week undergoing their now familiar pre-season training regime.

Brunt admits the result of the friendly ultimately has no significance, but insisted the competitive nature of professional football means his side will have their sights set on winning the game.

He said: "It's important not to pick up any knocks after the week we've had.

"The lads will be wanting to get through their first set of minutes in the season.

"It's been a while since some of the boys played but a lot of us had games in June and over the summer break so it hasn't been as long.

"The result will take care of itself and it's not a life or death situation.

"Saying that, whenever you step across that white line as professional footballers, you always want to win any game that you are involved in.

"We know it'll be a tough game because they are the champions of their country and they'll probably be a couple of weeks ahead of us fitness wise because of their involvement in the Champions League qualifiers.

"We've seen in the previous two years against Red Bull Salzburg and PSG that these games are very difficult.

"Our week has had a heavy fitness focus on it so it'll be nice to get out there, have a touch of the ball and get rid of some rustiness."

The training schedule in Austria is now well-known to plenty of the players, but that doesn't make it any easier according to 'Brunty'.

"Not much has changed in terms of the week we have here.

"People know what to expect and they know what is coming in Austria.

"It's not easy getting up at 5:30am and being told to get up hills - it's tough at the time.

"Most lads have only had a couple of weeks off so players tend to come back for pre-season in really good shape because they know they need to hit the ground running for the start of the Premier League season.

"You can't afford to be off the pace come August."

Supporters travelling to Kumberg for the fixture will be able to pay upon entry, with tickets priced €10 adults and free for children.

The match will take place at Schustergrabenstrasse 2a, 8062 Kumberg.

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