West Bromwich Albion striker Ishmael Miller played down claims that his team-mates’ confidence is badly bruised after three successive League defeats.
His own mood has improved greatly following his first goal of the season after coming on as a substitute during Albion’s 2-1 defeat at Newcastle United on Tuesday evening.
He said: “I’m always itching to get on. I don’t like to be on the bench and I don’t want to be a player who sits there. I want to play as many games as I possibly can and to improve. I am only young and I’m getting better day by day, week by week, and I feel I’ll be a much better player in months and years to come.
“Not scoring has been playing on my mind, because you want to score as many goals as you can and help the team out as much as you can but I have got a good family behind me telling me to keep going and if you keep doing that, then the goals will come.
“You might play well in a game but just not take your chances, and I have done that in recent times. One of these months, I will score four or five goals in the month. That’s how football works and that is how it’s usually worked for me in the past.
“[Portsmouth’s] Jermain Defoe didn’t score for five or six games last season but this season he has scored six and [Manchester United’s] Wayne Rooney has been the same.”
Blackburn Rovers are Albion’s next opponents – at The Hawthorns on Saturday – and Miller insists the mood in the camp will have to improve if the Baggies are to stop their losing sequence, but that it won’t be difficult given the spirit among the players.
“The mood isn’t good at the moment but it’s not as bad as people would probably expect it to be,” said Miller. “The first half against Newcastle was hard for us to take, so things were a bit heated but we came out after half-time and showed we had fire in our bellies and a bit of fight.
“Sometimes in football, you have to be like that. You have to try to gee your team-mates up. Even if it’s your best friend, sometimes you might shout at him. It’s not meant to hurt him.
“It’s football and you want to win and the players we have got definitely want to win. We don’t want to be getting at each other,
“Sometimes in this league, you don’t win for three or four games and if you have to go and play Manchester United at Old Trafford as a promoted team, you’re not expected to go there and get anything.
“But we have played Hull City and we could and should have won that game but we didn’t [they lost 3-0 at home] and Newcastle was tough because they are still a massive side.”
Meanwhile, James Morrison insists Albion can take plenty of positives from the result at St James’ Park.
The midfielder, whose man-of-the-match performance was the most eye-catching of several fine individual displays against Newcastle, confirmed that some harsh words between players were exchanged at half-time.
He said: There was a lot of shouting going on at half-time and it got us riled, so we came out fighting, but we’ve now got to show that spirit all the time.
“It seems to be the same old scenario – play well and lose. Our first-half performance let us down again, conceding two sloppy goals but we can take positives from the second-half performance.
“Before the game, we wanted to keep it tight and maybe nick a goal but in the first minute we gave them something to build on, with their early chance, and it went downhill from there.”
The biggest bonus for Albion was the performance of Miller in finally finding the net. Morrison added: I’m delighted for Ish. He’s been getting some stick but he’s been working hard. He’s kept his head down and got his rewards. That’s what a striker is.
“They get one and go on a little roll. I’m pleased for him and I’m sure he’ll be buzzing now to get onto the pitch on Saturday.
“Blackburn is another game we think we can win because we play some good football at home. I just think we need to be more clinical and then we will be all right.”