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Thursday, 05 February 2009 22:59

West Brom’s Pele pleased with first-team run

Baggies prepare for Newcastle showdown

PelePedro Pele hopes he has done enough during his recent run in the West Bromwich Albion team to ensure he plays a more active role in the club’s relegation battle between now and the end of the season.

The ex-Belenenses man, who helped the Baggies to promotion last season, had to wait until last month for his Premiership debut, but an injury crisis in central defence meant Pele has started three of West Brom’s last four matches.

"Our squad has been used fully because of injuries and everyone has had a chance to show how well they can play," he said. "I am pleased to be back in the team. I hope I can play again and hope I've done enough to play again, but it is the manager's decision.

"Of course I wanted to play but I never stopped working or sulked. I told the manager that 'okay it's your decision' but I have worked hard all the time knowing that he may call for me at any time.

"It wasn't a case of leaving or being upset, it was about working hard and doing what I could to get back into the side. I am an upbeat player. It doesn't mean I'm happy all the time but sometimes you need to try to show you're being positive. I know that I need to work hard in training; otherwise the manager won’t want to know. I have done my best.”

This weekend sees West Brom take on fellow strugglers Newcastle United at the Hawthorns on Saturday afternoon, and whether involved or not, Pele is aware of the significance of achieving a positive result against a direct rival.

"It's a very big game for our battle against relegation. We have to forget about the midweek defeat in the cup and just make sure we are right for that match. We've had some good results at home. We have shown in the last few weeks that we can do well at home so we need to keep believing."

By Sean Gillen

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