It hasn't been the best fortnight for Tomasz Kuszczak yet the ebullient Pole is still full of joie de vivre.

Albion have dropped into the bottom three of the Premiership, his error cost them a valuable point at Tottenham and he is the subject of a Fifa investigation after his former agent claims Kuszczak owes him £100,000.

The Albion goalkeeper has strenuously denied all such claims and is firmly focused on cementing Albion's Premiership future and his Premiership career.

Kuszczak looked set to be forever the bridesmaid after his arrival from Hertha Berlin in 2004 until Chris Kirkland's injury afforded him a decent run of first-team matches.

He has grabbed the opportunity with his bucket-like hands and delivered a series of composed performances.

Not only has he taken to the Premiership like a duck to water but he has fully embraced the English way of life. There are major cultural differences between Kuszczak's home town of Wroclaw and West Bromwich but, not surprisingly, the tentacles of the Premiership are reaching south-west Poland.

He said: "It is difficult to say if there is a big difference between the mentality of the respective countries but my mentality is like that of English players.

"They are really hard people like me. I like hard foot-ball and I like to fight and give everything on the training pitch and during games.

"They are showing Albion's games on television in Poland because everyone wants to see good football. The football is better in England than Poland.

"They show my games and journalists write about me every day in the newspapers.

"If someone recognises you when you go back it is nice but I don't get the opportunity very often because we play a lot of games in England.

"If we have two days off then that isn't long enough to take a return flight. It is too much of a strain and football is the most important thing to me. I want to be fit and focused. When I do go home, I want to enjoy my city."

Kuszczak's PR spin for his home town is as infectious as his personality.

Throughout the course of this interview, he is ribbed with affection by team-mates who are trying to 'improve' his grasp of the English language.

He is bombarded with industrial language but shrugs off any ridicule with a booming laugh.

It is clear he is relishing the opportunity to ply his trade in England and this weekend's critical clash with Aston Villa is just another stage of a wondrous adventure. He is preparing to stay in England for the duration and is no foreign mercenary.

"I need to work on my English," Kuszczak, who has already attended a supporters' club forum, said. "I am fluent in German and Polish - I want to speak English in the same manner. My head is fresh and I am young so I will improve.

"It helps me with the supporters, as they have asked me a lot of questions and I will try to answer them as best I can.

"The first year was difficult as I didn't play a lot. This year it has changed as I have had my chance. I have tried to play well, stay in goal and enjoy the challenge.

"It was my dream to play in the Premiership and I know what I have got. I want to play in the Premiership with Albion next season.

"This is the most important thing for me at present and I think for the lads as well."

* Stuart Nicholson took his goal tally to seven in eight reserve games as a young Albion reserves side put up a spirited display in their 3-1 defeat against a Leeds side boasting six first team players.

Albion's 16-year-old keeper John Bateman pulled off two stunning saves in the first half from point-blank volleys and also denied Leeds striker Jonathan Howson a hat-trick with a fine penalty stop.

Leeds, driven on by Eirik Bakke, who has struggled to win a first team place since returning from his loan spell at Aston Villa, went ahead through Nick Gray after 15 minutes but Albion hit back three minutes later with Nicholson's angled shot.

The teenage striker should have put Albion in the lead early in the second half but blazed over from close range and Leeds used their experience to close the game out with two goals from Howson.