On loan defender Matt Clarke reckons West Bromwich Albion have everything in place to achieve the club’s aim of promotion.
Relegated from the Premier League last season, the Baggies have the squad to get them back to the top tier, according to the 24-year-old.
“I am getting really good vibes from this dressing room. They’ve got a number of lads who have been at the club a long time, who are at good ages and stages in their careers, so it’s set up perfectly for us to get good results and put in good performances and to achieve that success.
“It would be a massive achievement for me personally if we meet the club’s aim. You play football to achieve things like promotion, but it’s going to take a lot of work.
“I think I’ve settled in really well, I have had a few loans before this one so I know what it’s about. I know there’s that bedding-in period especially as I was playing catch up on the fitness front, but I am enjoying it.
“The manager [Valerien Ismael] is relentless with his demands and everyone at the club has the same ambition, to get promoted back to the Premier League. The squad have had success in the Championship and they want to repeat that this season.”
The Baggies have started with a draw and a win in their opening two games, with Clarke making his first start for the club on Saturday in a 3-2 victory over Luton Town.
“It was a little bit frustrating because at 3-0 the game should have been done. We assessed the game on Sunday and it should have been a very positive meeting, but because of the two late goals you’re left with a bittersweet feeling.
Job done 😅— West Bromwich Albion (@WBA) August 14, 2021
“We can learn from it and importantly it didn’t cost us any points, overall there are plenty of positives so far.”
Clarke says having the crowd at the Hawthorns only inspired him and his teammates.
“You feel more comfortable with supporters back, it’s something that anyone involved in football over the last few weeks will have seen, the game is so much better with fans.
“Driving in on a matchday with supporters everywhere, people asking for pictures, to have that back adds another level of excitement, not pressure.”
Elsewhere, Leo Ostigard made his first start for Stoke City in a 0-0 draw with Birmingham City, while Alex Cochrane (Hearts), Teddy Jenks (Aberdeen), Jensen Weir (Cambridge United), Carl Rushworth (Walsall) and Ryan Longman (Hull City) were all in action for their loan clubs, although none finished on the winning side.