Hegazi ‘comfortable’ with Dawson & Co

Ahmed Hegazi believes Albion have assembled a combination of central defenders who can give Darren Moore the options he needs over the Sky Bet Championship run-in.

The Egypt international has been a rock at the heart of the Baggies defence this season and acknowledges that the quest for clean sheets has been the dominant topic of conversation among his fellow defenders. 

He and Craig Dawson have built on the partnership they established over the final weeks of last season to become the go-to pairing for Head Coach Darren Moore.

But the 28-year-old has a high regard for the two men completing the quartet, Kyle Bartley and Tosin Adarabioyo, and their role in the crunch games to come.  

“I feel very comfortable when Craig and I play together,” says Ahmed. “We have carried on from last season and Craig has been good for me with his experience of the team and the club over eight seasons now. He has helped me a lot and that has helped us play well together.

“But I have to say the boys we have added this season are doing very well too. With Kyle and Tosin, I feel any one of us can play in any combination. I don’t think it is just a case of Craig and I doing well; I feel we all are.

“We know we have to keep clean sheets over the second half of the season and we have spoken about this a lot. If we can achieve this, it would make the run-in easier for us.”

Hegazi has also had that marked change of style to accommodate which he acknowledges has brought its risks to Albion’s approach play - but also its rewards.

He added: “We are trying to give the team the chance to play. We have got very good attacking players and by bringing the ball out from the back we are trying to give them the best chance possible to show their qualities. 

“Sometimes we get punished with this system but we will keep working at it and I feel we’re doing better all the time.

“Promotion for the club, for the players, for the staff, for the fans - promotion is the target. Everyone in the club wants it and we must keep working. Automatic promotion is the best way to achieve this but we have to fight until we do it.

“It’s a very, very tough league. Any team can beat any team. It’s not easy for anyone to play every game. 

“It’s one of the five best leagues in the world and one of the toughest. You have to keep going.

“Lately I think the team is doing very well. We perform well in all the games we play; sometimes the result does not come but we keep working and keep going and as long as we do this, the results will come.”

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