BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE
Paul Robinson is confident that West Bromwich Albion can build on their pleasing opening-day performance in the Premier League by not showing Everton the same respect as they afforded Arsenal.
The 29-year-old full-back, whose display against the Gunners was among the more eye-catching, insists The Hawthorns crowd will play a massive part in providing the Baggies with the belief they need to take on the best teams in the land – and beat them.
“Our spirits are high,” he said. “The problem for us is the international week because that kills the momentum of the team.
“It’s not as good as if you can stay together, work as a team and build for the weekend so it will be tough, but it’s the same for every club and a lot of players are going to be away.
“It’s part and parcel of being in the top league and all clubs have to deal with it. We just have to keep working hard.
“It’s a massive advantage playing at home. The fans will be right behind us and we are looking forward to the Everton game, as we are to every game.
“You can’t afford to be afraid of these teams, like Arsenal. You have to show great mental strength and character, and we showed that at The Emirates. In the first 25 minutes we showed them a little bit too much respect. Other teams probably would have crumbled and let it get to them but we didn’t.
“We stuck together as a team and created some chances.”
It says much for Albion’s character that they found their composure after such and early and violent onslaught by the Gunners but Robinson believes the footballing doctrine that manager Tony Mowbray as instilled in the squad makes such recoveries easier.
“That’s what the manager’s philosophy is all about,” says Robinson. “Last year he got us to play football even when we went to some of the smaller clubs in the Championship.
“Sometimes it’s hard to go to those places and play the football but he wanted us to play.
“Even when we lost he still wanted us to play football and that’s how you get stronger.
“You have to learn from what goes on in games. We will take a lot from the Arsenal game, both the negatives and the positives, and take them into the next match.”
If Robinson plays like he did at Arsenal there is little chance of him losing his left-back berth, despite interest from new signing Marek Cech, who had a less convincing Premier League albeit out of position on the right side of midfield.
Mowbray this week urged Robinson to maintain his high standards.
“It is important that he has genuine competition for his position,” said the manager.
“Maybe the presence of Marek Cech contributed to the fact that gave such an outstanding performance on Saturday.
“It might not have been the direct reason but I think competition focuses the mind of every footballer in the team.”