Jake Livermore has been praised far and wide for his performances in Albion’s unbeaten start to the Sky Bet Championship campaign - and now he’s revealed the reasons behind his impressive form.
The 29-year-old has played almost every minute for Slaven Bilić in the league, with three wins, three draws and a first goal of the season the reward for his tireless efforts.
In fact, he’s missed just 12 league fixtures for the Baggies since arriving from Hull City in January 2017 - that’s 95 appearances from a possible 107.
And the former Tottenham midfielder, who says he was in “good nick” anyway, has lifted the lid on how he spent the summer preparing himself for another relentless campaign.
“I have made a conscious effort to try and trim down,” he said.
“I have been working hard in the gym. I have been working hard with the staff and the chef with what to eat. I have actually really enjoyed it.
“I feel a lot better. My role has slightly changed, getting a bit further forward and I am enjoying it. As long as the Club and the team is getting the results that we need then I will continue it.
“I actually feel the last few seasons I have been in good nick, but I have had a few injuries and this summer I really gave myself a break to get myself right, and those niggles that I used to play through I have hopefully eradicated, and I can just concentrate on getting around the field.
“I think it does help. Sometimes you do need to refresh and start again.”
“In this league every game is like a cup final. You can play three games a week and you want to be fit for selection every time, and they come around so thick and fast.
“Every game is as important as the other so it is difficult to pull yourself out or declare yourself unfit.
“You try to get through each game as best as you can - but this season I have been feeling physically a lot better and hopefully that continues for as long as possible.”
Livermore, who has skippered the Baggies in all six league fixtures to now, was also quick to point out the impressive job done by his team-mates - new and old - since the arrival of Slaven Bilić in June.
“The boys have done really well,” he insisted. “We have got a new team, new management and new staff, but we are getting there, we are getting to where we want to be. It takes time to build a squad and a successful team but we are definitely heading in the right direction.
“I think we have been unlucky in a few of the games. The boys have played some great football in some of the games and unfortunately just not had that rub of the green or that cutting edge to turn the point into three but likewise we have shown some good resilience to come back from going behind early on, which is also positive.
“The boys have got a great togetherness and each game we want to go out and feel that we can go and win games. We have had a tough start to the season really, we have played some good sides already and I think it’s been a good test for us. Hopefully it’s a good base to build on but it’s not where we want to finish by all means.”
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