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West Brom looking to make it Fortress Hawthorns

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West Brom are determined to make The Hawthorns a venue opponents fear to tread as they plan to build on their best top-flight start in nearly a century.


The Baggies fourth consecutive win at The Hawthorns took the 2012 vintage into the historic territory of the club's 1919-20 championship winners.

Albion will need to win another two home games to equal their legendary forefathers but after a patchy home record last season, Steve Clarke's squad are thrilled to be finally giving home fans something to shout about.

In-form star James Morrison says: "At the start of the season we wanted to make this a tough place to come and improve on our home form.

"Last season our away form was tremendous really and our home form was a bit iffy.

"That's what we've been wanting to do and we're doing it. All the hard work is paying off.

"If you look at the team everyone is an international player. We've got quality now so credit to the team and the club.

"I just think that's down to confidence.

"When you get wins it gives you confidence and that's what it's doing.

"The manager says 'just play your game' and we're playing with confidence."

But it will not get any tougher then the challenge heading their way after the international break as defending champions Manchester City head for The Hawthorns.

And Morrison knows just how much it can take out of a team coping with the most lavishly-assembled squad in global football.

"I remember last season we defended like lions and after that game it killed us for a bit.

"We couldn't win after that because it took a lot out of us.

"We're going to have to do the same again and be smart against them."

With Albion's growing depth of talent comes the added burden of international call-ups, however, which will leave Clarke sweating on a safe return for so many distant stars.

Loan striker Romelu Lukaku, who pulled out of the Belgian squad because of an ankle problem, was the only withdrawal as 10 others players headed off for duty.

The bulk of the players will be Europe-based for World Cup qualifiers but Youssouf Mulumbu is looking to clinch a place at next year's African Nations Cup on Sunday with DR Congo 4-0 up in their play-off second-leg with Equatorial Guinea.

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