West Brom captain Jake Livermore believes the international break has helped the Albion players further get to grips with Steve Bruce’s methods and adds that it could really help the team for the final stretch of the campaign.
After a tough start to live at the Hawthorns for Bruce which saw him pick up just one point from the first 15 available, things have turned a corner in recent weeks with the Baggies unbeaten in four.
The positive form has come at the perfect time and has given Albion a chance of still creeping into the Championship play-offs, though all involved know it won’t be easy.
Livermore expressed the importance of Sunday’s derby clash with Birmingham City and is well aware that a positive result could be huge in the run in.
“I think the international break provided a good chance for the manager and his staff to really home in on certain principles, and it turned out to be a great week for us,” the captained told WBATV.
“But we need to come out of the blocks from this international break and have a real positive end to the season now.
“We’ve gone four games unbeaten and we must keep that run going, and there’s no better way to do it than in a derby.
“Of course, it’s massive for the fans as we know, but equally in our dressing room it’s a massive game for us too.
“We give every team the utmost respect, but there’s just something about a derby day where, whether it’s the lift from the crowd, the expectation or the atmosphere, whatever it may be, derby days are always that much more special.”
“When the atmosphere’s like it is at The Hawthorns when it’s rocking it’s unbelievable. There’s nothing like winning the bragging rights from Birmingham.”
As well as the importance of getting a result on Sunday, Livermore could’t help but ring the praises of the Albion faithful who he describes as “phenomenal” and adds the team will do everything to give them a victory they deserve.
“I’ve always said the away fans have been phenomenal at this club,” he said.
“Up and down the country they follow us and they’ve been fantastic since I’ve joined here, so let’s hope we can give them what they want on Sunday.
“There’s no hiding, we’re playing some catch-up we’d rather not be playing, but we are where we are now and as I’ve just touched on, we’ve had a week to home in on a few principles and how we want to play and hopefully we can carry those lessons into the remainder of this season.
“A few years ago we had Brentford, who hit a crazy run of form, so it can be done. We’ll take it game by game as it is and Birmingham’s first.
“It would be perfect to get the result, and also what’s important is the performance and hopefully that will give us the confidence to propel us to where we need to be.”
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