West Bromwich Albion midfielder James Morrison has praised Do-Hoen Kim for his contributions after the Korean’s stunning strike helped the Baggies secure a 2-2 draw in Tuesday night’s friendly with Shrewsbury Town.
Former Middlesbrough star Morrison scored a 20-yard wonder strike which wrapped up the Baggies’ comeback as they scored twice in the last 16 minutes, but he reserved all the plaudits for his team-mate, who made his move to The Hawthorns permanent in May after a loan spell, having impressed manager Tony Mowbray at the end of last season.
Morrison, who was recently given his international call up by Scotland, had to spare Albion’s blushes after a brace of goals from Shrews’ striker Grant Holt. The 22-year-old said: “It was nice to get on the scoresheet but it was also nice for Kim. He scores these kinds of goals in training and it is good that he is bringing that on to the pitch.
“We need good players at this club as we go into the Premier League and he has adapted well to English football and our style of play. The future looks bright for Kim.”
Morrison added: “I was pleased with my game too, but personally all I can do is keep performing and trying to keep myself in the manager’s thoughts for when the season starts.
“The Shrewsbury match was really all about fitness and, while it would have been nice to win for our confidence, it wasn’t to be.”
Morrison feels the work over the last few weeks and the pre-season matches has been worthwhile, even if it has been a lot of effort as the players face up to the extra demands of the Premier League. He added: “It is taking its toll on the players but it is also about building us up physically so that we can last through the Premier League season. It is also about mentally getting through it and if we can cope with this, then we can cope with anything.”
Meanwhile, Albion’s return to the Premier League is to be marked with a series of television tributes in the form of some of the Baggies’ greatest games from the past.
Albion’s return to the top flight after a two- year absence will see Sky Channel ESPN Classic dedicate a series of games to Tony Mowbray’s boys over the weekend of August 4-9 and during the opening Premier League weekend of the season from August 16-17.
Albion start the campaign against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on August 16 at 12.45pm but fans can first tune in to recall Albion’s memorable 2-1 win against the Gunners of 2005-2006, when former Arsenal player Nwankwo Kanu scored two goals to seal a remarkable victory after going a goal down.
‘Baggies are Back’ week will also recall, the drama of the 2004-2005 “Great Escape” season when they became the first Premier League club to avoid relegation having been bottom of the table at Christmas.
In a nail-biting end to the season, Albion were one of four teams facing relegation but, clinched survival on the last day with a 2-0 win against Portsmouth.Other memorable matches which will be featured include Albion’s encounter with Charlton Athletic that season when they thumped the Addicks 4-1 with Robert Earnshaw scoring a 17-minute hat-trick after coming on as a substitute.
The series will also look back at the great Albion side managed by ‘Big Ron’ Atkinson during the late 1970s and early 80s, which featured Hawthorns legends such as Bryan Robson, Cyrille Regis and Laurie Cunningham. They recorded memorable achievements by finishing third in the old First Division in 1979 as well as reaching the quarter-finals of the Uefa Cup in the same season.