Belfast Telegraph

Ashworth: Baggies can compete

Technical director Dan Ashworth believes West Brom have assembled a squad capable of being "competitive" in the Barclays Premier League after previously yoyoing between the top two divisions.

Ashworth has had chance to take stock of Albion's current strength in depth after the closure of the transfer window and the two-week international break. He has worked with head coach Roberto Di Matteo in bringing in 10 summer signings plus persuading seven others to sign new contracts.

Ashworth said: "The problem with being a newly-promoted team is we have had to bring in 10 new players so virtually half of your squad is new. If all goes well, then I feel we have made ourselves competitive."

He added: "Some of them have only just walked through the door, some of have had to settle in a new country, some in a new area.

"It is a transitional time for the squad and the players.

"Everyone else has strengthened since we were up in this division last two years ago. It is an incredibly difficult league.

"We have brought in 10 new players and given seven others new contracts.

"If we get a bit of luck with injuries, and in the games themselves, then I think we have got a competitive squad in an extremely competitive league."

Nicky Shorey, Paul Scharner, Marc Antoine-Fortune, Steven Reid, Gabriel Tamas, Pablo Ibanez, Boaz Myhill, Somen Tchoyi, Peter Odemwingie and Craig Dawson all joined Albion before the window closed.

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