James Morrison: I'm a West Brom supporter now
James Morrison is planning to come back to The Hawthorns as much as he can this season, declaring: “I’m a supporter now.”
The midfielder’s 12-year service to Albion was celebrated on Wednesday night when the Baggies hosted Reading.
Morrison was paraded on the pitch beforehand and a dedicated programme was full of tributes to him.
“Sometimes I’m a bit shy and don’t want the fuss around me, but it was nice,” he said. “I never would expect this when I started my Albion career.
“I’m a supporter now really. I always check on the results and when I can get down it’s nice to come and show some support and give it back to the club that supported me.”
Morrison was released at the end of last season after playing 341 games for the Baggies and having a hand in 76 goals – scoring 39, assisting 37.
He’s yet to find another club, but he’s been training at Albion’s training ground this summer one-on-one with Baggies sports scientist Rhys Owen to keep himself fit.
“I was in Tuesday morning at 7.15am before everyone else got in,” revealed Morrison. “A big thank you to Rhys, he doesn’t have to do what he’s doing.
“I find it a bit difficult training on my own but with him pushing me it makes it easier and enjoyable, a huge gratitude to him doing that.
“We just work it around, either afternoon when he’s finished his jobs or in the morning before he starts. I owe him one.”
Having played more than 300 Premier League games, onlookers will be surprised Morrison, who only turned 33 in May this year, is yet to find a new club.
“Nothing’s coming up at the minute, which is quite worrying,” he admitted.
“I see what the market is and how clubs are changing their policies and going younger.
“I’ve prepared myself for that and I’ve got friends in a similar situation. It’s not easy but as footballers we tend to have to deal with it.”
Chris Brunt led the tributes to Morrison in the matchday programme, revealing two nicknames for his long-term team-mate and friend - ‘the turtle’ and ‘housewives’ favourite’.
“I don’t want to think what he’s done, but I’ll have my time back on him,” said Morrison. “The turtle? The terrapin yeah. There will be a few, and there’s a few he can’t say as well. I’ll have my time back on him.”
And Morrison believes Slaven Bilic’s unbeaten side have got what it takes to challenge for promotion this season.
“It’s been a positive start,” said the midfielder. “They’re still in the early days in the transition with a lot of new players coming in. I still think there’s a lot more to come from the team.”