‘We can’t wait to get going’ - Sam

Sam Johnstone cannot wait for a return to Sky Bet Championship action when the 2019/20 season resumes in a fortnight.

The Baggies have begun contact training after entering Phase Two of the EFL’s safety protocols earlier this week, as the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic continues.

It means Albion can safely step up their preparations for a nine-game finale, which is scheduled to begin with a local derby clash against Birmingham City on the weekend of June 20.

And the Baggies’ No.1 says his team-mates’ focus has not deviated from finishing the job throughout football’s 12-week absence.

“It’s been really good to get back to training and obviously see everyone again,” said Johnstone.

“It’s certainly been different. All the lads were happy to get back into training because we are so used to routine and we all love playing. We missed it.

“Normally, when we have time off it’s all structured, there’s a date when you know you’ll go back. This has obviously been different because we didn’t know when that would be.

“But all the boys have kept themselves in great shape. We’ve all been working really hard at home and now we’ve continued that in training.

“The start date is obviously a big boost and it gives us something to aim for and work towards. That’s what we want as players.”

He added: “Our mindset was always that we’d be coming back to finish the job. I don’t think one player took their foot off the gas during lockdown. That shows just how good and how focused this group is.

“Every player kept that focus and has come back to training ready to hit the ground running because we want to finish the season and get promoted. That’s always been our target and that hasn’t changed.

“We’ve had to adapt to the new training rules and rules around the training ground but everyone has been great.

“We can’t wait to get going again in terms of games.”

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