Returning Rek happy with night’s work

Rekeem Harper says he’s hungry to impress after making his first league start of the season in Albion’s 2-0 win over Preston North End.

The 19-year-old midfielder stepped up to replace suspended Romaine Sawyers at The Hawthorns as the Baggies put in a convincing display to extend their lead at the top of the Sky Bet Championship.

And the Academy product admits his absence from first-team action and the support of Slaven Bilić behind the scenes has spurred him on to become a better player.

“It was a great night’s work,” he said. “Obviously, I had it in the back of my head, being back in that I just wanted to help the team win.

“I wanted to contribute by being energetic and lively, and I felt like I did that tonight.

“I enjoyed it, being out of the team has made me hungry and I’m quite fortunate the opportunity has come around when the team have momentum. So it was easy for me to come in and keep that momentum going.

“Slaven hasn’t spoken to me but he came up to me and gave me a hug, and tapped me on the head, so I know he’s happy with me. Hopefully that’s the first of many opportunities for me.

“He’s involved me in training through the season, and every week, so it’s easy to know what he wants. The players give me a lot of advice, like Jake, Kyle Bartley, Matt Phillips, they always encourage me to play my game so I feel like if I do that I can suit this team.

“I wish I’d got a goal, I thought I was quite positive in my play, and I worked hard so that’s all you can offer really. That’s the least you can offer so I’m quite happy with my night’s work.”

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