Romaine Sawyers says the “trust” of Slaven Bilić and the “support” of Albion’s fans have been instrumental in his glittering return to The Hawthorns.
The 28-year-old midfielder, who earned a deal back with his boyhood club via Walsall and Brentford, has to date played every minute of Albion’s table-topping campaign.
And Romaine, who describes himself as a “marmite-type” player, insists he’s getting the support he requires from all areas of the football club.
“It’s embedded in the team from the gaffer all the way down,” reveals Sawyers. “I think I’ve got his trust from when we speak off the pitch.
“The dressing room is very much an easy dressing room and I feel like I’ve got the trust from them. That gives me the platform to play confidently. There are times when I’ve lost the ball and it’s not like someone will rip my head off. That makes things easier and if I keep performing I think I’ll be okay.
“I think the biggest thing is the interaction of the fans as they’ve really taken me on board and that’s a massive thing for me personally as I’m a marmite-type player.
“Sometimes I’m disguised as lazy or too laid back or casual, but I’ve not had that here and that’s given me that extra two per cent that’s made me think they’re on board with the kind of player I am. That’s the kind of support I need as a player.
“In the dressing room I’ve definitely got it, from the manager I’ve definitely got it, but to have it from the 12th man as well makes a whole lot of difference.”
The Handsworth-born Albion fan, who has moved back to the area since joining from the Bees, says fellow Baggies should be “ecstatic” with the club’s start to the season.
He added: “In any walk of life a compliment goes a long way and support can be very emotional. You can have fickle fans but, at the same time, as players we all support a team so we do know that side of it.
“It’s always good to be told you’re doing well and I’m guessing West Brom fans are buzzing at work at the moment. We’re top, we’re playing well, and we look a strong side for the season. We’re a third of the way in and we’re top. It’s great for everybody involved.
“As a fan, I bet they’re ecstatic.”
On his outrageous outside-of-the-foot pass against Stoke City on Monday night, Romaine revealed the special praise he received from the Baggies boss.
“I spoke to Slaven on Wednesday and his comparison was that when he took his son to watch Barcelona - that feeling that you get - having a dad-son bond. He said he got a similar feeling when he saw my pass.
“I was thinking ‘wow’. When you think about the players he’s managed in my position, like Rakitić, Modrić, Lanzini, Payet, to get a compliment from a manager of that stature goes a long way."