Dara O’Shea says it’s inspiring to “play for a manager who has confidence in you” and admits he can’t wait for Albion’s FA Cup match at Charlton on Sunday (ko 2.01pm).
The Baggies travel down to The Valley to begin their journey in football’s oldest trophy this weekend, backed by close to 2,000 supporters, with the hope of progressing past round three for the third consecutive season.
And Dara is hopeful he’ll play a part in the tie and get more minutes under his belt, as well as create new FA Cup memories to go alongside the ones he’s made on loan at Hereford and Exeter.
“It’s nice when you have a taste of first-team football to have games like this coming up, where you can look forward to hopefully playing,” he said.
“Obviously with the FA Cup being such a prestigious tournament as well it’s great.
“An FA Cup run can only help really, especially with a big squad because it gives all the lads minutes to improve and stay active for when called upon.
“When I was down at Hereford we went on a little FA Cup run, I think we got to the second round and earned a replay at Fleetwood - which was huge for the club then. That’s probably my best memory there.
“And last season at Exeter, the FA Cup got me going and got me in the team there so it’s a great competition and one that I’ve enjoyed.
“This season has been different with being on loan last season and getting a taste for it, and then coming back here and being involved but not getting as much game time.
“It’s tough but it’s still a great learning experience being around the players and it’s obviously a higher level than I was last season. It’s great and it’s frustrating!
“It’s definitely nice to play for a manager who has confidence in you. As long as he has confidence in you, you’ll go out and play with confidence - which is great.
“I know that I can go out and express myself and not be having to check over my shoulder to see if he’s happy or not. He gives me the freedom to play.
“It fills me with confidence to know that he believes in me and wants me here, it’s great to have the backing of him.”