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Steven Reid to meet an old friend

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Albion right-back Steven Reid hopes to get the better of one of his oldest friends - 13 years after they made their Football League debuts together.

Albion right-back Steven Reid hopes to get the better of one of his oldest friends - 13 years after they made their Football League debuts together.

The Baggies defender will go head to head with former Millwall team-mate Tim Cahill, when Albion face Everton at the Hawthorns tomorrow.

The pair share a special friendly rivalry after making their Lions debuts in the same match - a 2-1 defeat to Bournemouth in May 1998.

Both have built impressive careers after cutting their teeth in a talented young Millwall.

And Reid is well aware of the threat posed by his old friend, who has earned a reputation as one of the Premier League's most fears midfield goalscorers.

He said: "You never know for sure until you perform in the Premier League, but there was no doubting his goalscoring ability at Millwall, especially in the air, and he's going to be a major threat at the weekend.

"We're good pals, I see him out and about now and then in Manchester and he doesn't live too far away.

"He has been arguably one of Everton's best signings ever. He has had a few seasons there but he has stayed loyal to the club and he is a great player and a good man as well.

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"We were lucky. Millwall at the time went into administration and a few of the young lads got pushed through.

"There was Tim Cahill, myself, Paul Ifill, who had a decent career, Tony Warner and Richard Sadlier, who had to retire but scored two against West Brom in a game we won here.

"It was a good side and I was lucky enough to be involved in that team and we also had some senior players. If you stepped out of line they would put you back in your place, which is what you need.

"Going into the game at the weekend, you always want to put one over your ex-team mate and hopefully I can do that.

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"There will be a little bit of banter beforehand but we will be fully committed on the day.

"Hopefully we can keep a close eye on Cahill but not just him, because they have a lot of threats throughout their team."

Albion and Everton are sixth and fourth respectively in a form table based on clubs' last eight Premier League matches.

But Reid is under no illusions about the scale of the task facing Roy Hodgson's men when they take on David Moyes's Toffees.

He said: "David Moyes seems to get the best out of his players season in, season out.

"This season is no different. They sometimes get off to a slow start but they are definitely in the top three or four in the form table in the last 15 or 20 games.

"They have been brilliant and they got a great result last weekend against Manchester City.

"It's going to be a tough test but hopefully we can end the home season on a high and go into Newcastle and get a good result there as well."

The Baggies have two matches remaining in a season that already qualifies as hugely successful after they sealed safety with three games to go.

But Reid insisted the club must strive to end the season on a high, not least with £800,000 per place on offer to bolster Hodgson's transfer kitty.

The former Republic of Ireland international insists the existing Baggies players would welcome new faces, even if it harms their chances of regular first-team football.

He said: "How we finish could be the difference in terms of who the club decide to sign in the summer. We want to strengthen the team and improve on what we've done this season.

"By finishing a few extra places up the table it gives the gaffer and board the opportunity to do that.

"If we can strengthen, at the start of next season, hopefully we won't just be talking about surviving and we can kick on a bit more.

"You know the clubs in and around you are going to be spending big. Sunderland spent big last year and got the money back in from Darren Bent.

"I'm sure the gaffer and the board have got their plan and they'll have targets in mind."

Albion have also appealed for fans to stay off the pitch after tomorrow's game as they confirmed plans for a lap of honour.

A club statement said: "The players and coaching staff have expressed a wish to be accompanied by their children during the lap of appreciation.

"Therefore, it is imperative that all supporters stay off the field of play at all times to create the safest possible environment."

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