Albion star James Morrison today revealed he is ready to fill Youssouf Mulumbu’s boots when the Baggies star leaves for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Morrison is on standby to switch positions in the new year if required when Mulumbu departs to play for DR Congo in the international finals in South Africa.
The Scotland international emerged as a central midfield force under Roy Hodgson last season but has switched successfully to a more attacking role since Steve Clarke’s arrival.
But the 26-year-old is happy to drop back to deputise for Mulumbu.
“I played there at Newcastle when Claudio Yacob was injured and I think it went quite well,” said Morrison.
“Youssouf and Claudio have developed a good partnership in the centre even though they are similar players, so it will be a blow to lose Youssouf if he goes off. I have played further forward this season, which is a different job for me, but I have been enjoying it.
“If I am picked to do a job in another position when Youssouf goes away then I will be happy to do it. I enjoyed playing there last season so I’d be pleased to do it again.
“But we have a lot of players who could do that job if the gaffer asked them to, so we’ll just have to wait and see what he decides.”
Morrison could get an early chance to fill in for Mulumbu on Saturday if the popular midfielder fails to recover from his sore hamstring in time to face Sunderland. He missed training yesterday but Clarke has not given up hope of him being fit.
Gareth McAuley could also miss out again with a leg problem while Boaz Myhill is on standby to start again as Ben Foster continues his rehabilitation from groin surgery.
The Baggies will look to seal a third successive victory but Morrison has again attempted to cool talk of a top-six finish. He said: “It’s important that we don’t get carried away and that we carry on trying to focus on the next game.”