Albion skipper Jake Livermore has revealed just how much he is enjoying his football in a team which is a “joy” to be a part of.
The Baggies captain, who scored his third goal of the season against Preston on Tuesday night, has led by example throughout the campaign with a host of dominant performances in the middle of the park.
The 30-year-old has been given the freedom to play further forward in recent weeks and has flourished in the new role handed to him by Slaven Bilić.
But despite earning rave reviews for his own displays, Livermore was quick to steer the credit towards his team-mates who he describes as the “best bunch” to be around and play alongside.
He said: “The boys have been fantastic and we’ve got 11 leaders out there. They’re a joy to play alongside.
“They are the best group to be honest. It’s a really good group of lads, as people first and foremost.
“What they do on the field speaks for itself.
“Everyone has played their part. Everyone right through from the staff to the players and the guys who are playing and the ones who aren’t at the moment.
“Collectively, the squad and the team is in a good place.
“We’ve had the mentality of going into every game believeing we can win it all season.
“It was unfortunate we had that little blip in the middle of the season but I’m glad it happened at that point rather than now.”
Jake added: “I’m really enjoying my football. That’s a big thing for me. I’m really enjoying my football at the moment.
“The manager has given me a role which gives me a little bit of freedom further up the pitch and I’m enjoying it.
“I’m playing with more freedom. The boys are a great bunch to play around.
“We’ve had Romaine Sawyers sitting in there this season and he’s done a great job. That allows me to do something slightly different to what I’ve been able to do in previous years.”
The Baggies have taken 16 points from the last 18 on offer and welcome relegation-threatened Wigan Athletic to the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Livermore knows the clash with Paul Cook’s side won’t be a simple one, but the skipper has challenged Albion to maintain their impressive run.
“It’s about winning games at this stage of the season and that’s what has been drummed into the boys.
“It doesn’t have to be pretty. It’s about doing the job right and doing it efficiently.
“Games will open up and the boys will get chances to show their flair and quality, but we’ll have to be patient at times.
“We need to be fully equipped for anything from the first minute on Saturday.
“We’ve slipped up against a few teams in the position that Wigan are in at the lower end of the table.
“We’ve found them very difficult games.
“We’ve now regrouped and looked at certain things. Hopefully this will be a good test of what we have learned from those previous encounters.
“We know how important three points would be for us.”