West Bromwich Albion new-boys Scott Carson and Marek Cech came through their Baggies’ debuts with impressive performances and immediately vowed to produce more of the same.
Carson, who joined Albion in midweek in a £3.25?million move from Liverpool and Slovakian defender Cech, who joined Tony Mowbray’s men in a £1.4 transfer from Porto, both played in Albion’s 1-1 draw with Cheltenham Town and impressed their manager.
Cech, who scored Albion’s 20th minute goal against the Robins, believes he is now at the peak of fitness and ready for the start of the season which sees Albion back in the Barclays Premier League.
He said: “Every day I’m getting better and better and I felt that the 45 minutes that I played were very good.
“I have to thank Dan (Harris – Albion’s fitness coach) because he has been preparing me during the last few days.
“When other players have been free, he has had me training with him and I think that prepared me well for my first start.”
The left-back left Porto after a troubled spell during which he wasn’t even training, but feels he has now made up ground since his transfer to Britain.
He said: “It wasn’t my decision but they told me I couldn’t train with the team because they had already made decisions on which players would stay at the club.
“I hope I will be better prepared than I was for the first start and I will be ready, not only for Arsenal [in the first league game of the new season] but for every game.”
Albion were ahead after Cech’s strike on 20 minutes before David Bird equalised in the 79th minute for Cheltenham. Cech meanwhile paid tribute to fellow newcomer.
Carson who kept a first-half clean-sheet before being substituted against Cheltenham.
Carson had been at Aston Villa last season on loan and then expected to make the move from Anfield to newly-promoted Stoke City before agreeing a deal with Albion earlier this week.
Cech, commenting on the England International keeper, said: “If you have a good goalkeeper, you can be more offensive because you know you have someone behind you who can help you out.
“I saw in the game that he is a very good goalkeeper. I hope that every buy will be a good one and it will help us in the future in the Premier League.”
*?Brazilian midfielder Gilberto feels Arsenal need to win a trophy this year after three seasons without any silverware – but thinks their barren spell may continue.
The 31-year-old ended his six-year spell with the Gunners earlier this month, agreeing a move to Panathinaikos having struggled to hold down a first-team place
Gilberto’s departure followed the exits of Mathieu Flamini and Alexander Hleb while speculation continues about the future of star striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
He said: “It will be very important to them if they win something this year but it will be hard again.
“It won’t be easy because the other teams are stronger than last year and Arsenal will have a hard season but I am confident they will handle it. I hope they can win this year.”