Sako ready for starting XI challenge

BAKARY Sako insists the fierce competition for a place in Darren Moore’s starting XI will inspire him to produce his best football.

The Mali international adds further fire power to Albion’s already-clinical front line, with the Baggies sitting top of the Sky Bet Championship having scored 25 goals in the opening ten fixtures.  

More than half of those goals have been netted by strike partners Dwight Gayle - with whom Sako played at Crystal Palace - and Jay Rodriguez.

And Bakary, who can play in a variety of attacking positions, is looking forward to the challenge of securing a spot in the Baggies team. 

“I knew the attacking players from before,” said Bakary. 

“Obviously I’ve played with Gayley, who has always been a goalscorer, and I’ve been impressed with Jay in the way he’s playing and all the goals he’s scored. I’m looking forward to joining them.

“Yeah I’m really excited, and really looking forward to the challenge.

“When you’ve got competition in the team it gets the best out of you. Every player wants to play so they give their best and try to get in the team.

“I’m a very direct player. I’ve got a powerful left foot, I score goals and get some assists so hopefully I can help the team.

“I’ve been playing wide all my life, but last year I used to play as a striker and I really enjoyed it. I scored a few goals, created some chances so I don’t mind playing both roles now.”

Sako has been training with the Baggies for two weeks and has been impressed by what he seen so far.

“I like the club a lot. The players, the facilities, the technical staff and the medical staff. So I’ve been very impressed.

“Darren Moore played a big part because lots of Premier League clubs wanted me but as soon as I knew that Darren wanted to see me I went straight away. We clicked together straight away.

“The way he manages players, the way he talks. He’s passionate about it and I really love that, it’s why I came here.

“I’ve been here for two weeks, getting to know the boys and stuff and getting my fitness back. I’ve really enjoyed it and now I’m ready to crack on.”

And Bakary is clear on his target for this season - to gain promotion to the Premier League. 

“We need to have consistency and you need to win a lot of home games, as well as getting your legs fresh to prepare for the next game because you have many, many games in this league.

“I think we just need to keep going and carry on the form that we are in at the moment.

“Yeah, I think this squad has enough to be promoted. That’s why I came here, to get back in the Premier League and to help the team get promoted again. I think we will do it.

“My main target is to help the team get back to the Premier League and I will give everything for that.”

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