West Bromwich Albion midfielder James Morrison believes his side’s form has created a selection dilemma ahead of Saturday’s clash with Aston Villa.
The Midlands derby could not have come at a better time for Roberto Di Matteo’s side, who dispatched fellow Championship promotions Newcastle 3-1 on Sunday, and Morrison said the Italian manager will struggle to include defender Youssouf Mulumbu, who is available after a two-match suspension.
“The strength in depth of the squad showed as we coped well without Youssouf, who has been a key player for us this season,” Morrison told West Brom’s official site.
“I thought me, Brunty (Chris Brunt) and Dozza (Graham Dorrans) did well in the middle and the gaffer’s (Di Matteo) got a real headache over who to play on Saturday now.”
Morrison said he is fit and ready to fire in what promises to be a closely fought encounter at Villa Park.
“I feel I’m in the best form since I came back from the problems I had with my heel,” he said.
“My back injury isn’t a major problem and is being managed.”
“It’s a good team to be playing in and we have a strong squad now after adding some experience in the summer.”
Villa winger Stewart Downing, meanwhile, warned his side that they need to show more character against their local rivals following a feeble display against Liverpool on Monday that led to a 3-0 thrashing at Anfield.
“We’ve got to be better than that (the Liverpool loss) and show more fight,” Downing said.
“We’ve got a massive game now on Saturday in which we’ve got to put things right.”
“We didn’t fight, we didn’t get amongst people and we didn’t finish chances when we had them. We need to defend better as a team.”
Villa have been forced to call on reserve players in recent weeks because of an extensive injury list that consists of Barry Bannan (groin), Steve Sidwell (Achilles), Nigel Reo-Coker, Emile Heskey and Stiliyan Petrov (all knee).
West Brom’s only major injury concern is defender Jonas Olsson (Achilles), who will be out until the new year.