Lewis Dunk is delighted to have committed his long-term future to Albion and says he wants to further improve his game under Graham Potter.
The 28-year-old defender has agreed a new five-year contract keeping him at the club in 2025 and believes he’s become a better player since Potter’s arrival last summer.
“Playing out from the back and being good in possession has been a big part of my game since I was in the youth set-up – we were taught to play that way,” said Dunk.
“I have always known I can play that way and last year I think showed that there is a lot more to my game than just sticking my head in the way of the ball.
“My defensive game is something I pride myself on, to make sure we’re not conceding goals. But the possession side is something I know I can add to the team.”
Potter encourages his defenders to play out from the back and be comfortable doing so and Dunk has relished the extra responsibility.
“Last season was a complete change,” said Dunk. “The new manager came in and changed training, the rules, style of play and philosophy. It took some getting used to but we started quite well then we had our Christmas jitters.
“Lockdown came at a good time because everyone was writing us off. We worked hard as a team during the break, returned, turned things around and it was a good season in the end.”
Albion finished with a club record Premier League points tally and Dunk played a pivotal role in their post-lockdown form, scoring the equaliser before Neal Maupay snatched a last-minute winner in the 2-1 win over Arsenal in the first game after the restart. Albion went on to pick up 12 points from their last nine games to finish on 41.
“The Arsenal game was significant and helped keep us in the Premier League, that gave us confidence,” said Dunk.
“When you go so long without winning, the pressure builds and builds. But after that Arsenal result we knew we could do it, having been a goal down and then getting a winner in the last minute.
“The most frustrating thing is knowing the place would have erupted as it was one of the club’s biggest goals in the history of the Amex.
“The fans weren’t there to enjoy it. I’m sure they enjoyed it at home but it’s not the same as being in the stadium and celebrating after the final whistle. Hopefully they can come back soon when it is safe to do so.”