First goal of the season 'a relief' for West Brom skipper Brunt

Having not scored for his team since their final away game of last season against Bolton, the Baggies' captain is pleased help his team secure back-to-back wins

West Brom skipper Chris Brunt was delighted at scoring his first Premier League goal of the campaign on Boxing Day.

The 28-year-old opened the scoring against struggling QPR with a 30-yard strike which helped earn his side a 2-1 win at Loftus Road.

And the Northern Ireland international revealed that boss Steve Clarke urged him to score more goals from midfield to help aid the team’s push for European football next season.

“Obviously, getting the three points is the main thing but I’m pleased I got a goal," Brunt told reporters.

“It has been a frustrating season for me as I’ve been in and out of the team with injuries. I’ve had a few games recently but a goal has been a long time coming and I’m delighted to have got one.

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“The gaffer had a bit of a joke with me the other day about me not scoring enough goals – but I knew he meant it! It’s been a long time since I scored and I haven’t got enough goals from midfield over the last couple of years.

“I try to get shots on target from outside the box and I knew as soon as I’d hit it that I’d hit it well enough for it to go in."

The Baggies have now won back-to-back games against Norwich and QPR, and sit two points off third-placed Chelsea in the Premier League table.

And Brunt is relieved his side appear to have put their four-game winless streak behind them and emphasised the importance of regaining the strong run of form that ignited their top-four ambitions.

“We went off track a little bit with three successive defeats but now we’re unbeaten in three and we’ve won our last two," Brunt continued.

“It’s very important in this league to pick up back-to-back wins. For 60 to 70 minutes, we were the better side. We created more chances and on another day Romelu may well have scored his two one-on-ones.

“Any Premier League side is going to cause you problems when they’re trailing at home and they threw everything at us in the last 20 minutes. But we battled away, as we have done all season, and managed to hold on for the win.

“We showed that we’re a good bunch of lads that work hard for each other week in, week out.”