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Calderon hopes to press claims for right-back spot
Inigo Calderon hopes to convince new head coach Oscar Garcia he is the man for the right-back spot when Albion kick off their League campaign at Leeds next Saturday.
Oscar will run the rule over his squad again when Albion take on Villarreal tonight at The Amex in his first home friendly since taking charge (7.30).
Competition is hotting up for the trip to Elland Road and Spaniard Calderon is well-placed to press his claims for the position ahead of fellow countryman Bruno, who has missed most of pre-season through injury.
Calderon, captain of a youthful starting line-up in Wednesday’s 2-0 win at Crawley, said: “I always try to train as hard as I can to get as fit as I can to be ready to play, then after that it is up to the manager.
“The more players we have fit the better it is for the club and that is the only thing I want. At the moment we haven’t got too many players so we need them all.
“He (Oscar) is going to give us different things. It’s not about a massive change, because he has more or less the same philosophy (as Poyet) but he has two or three ideas that are going to be really important for us and if we can introduce them into our game then I think it is going to be better for us for sure.”
Albion face promoted Villarreal in their penultimate friendly ahead of Norwich’s visit on Tuesday following narrow victories in Spain last week against La Liga side Getafe and Second Division Sporting Gijon.
Calderon said: “I think they should be a top six team in Spain. Three years ago they were playing in the Champions League and sometimes you lose your focus and have a bad spell in La Liga.
“Nobody expected them to go down into the Second Division but these things happen and they did very well to come straight back up again.
“It’s a really small town, so it’s a strange club, but over the last ten years they were doing so well, playing good football, passing football.
“Pre-season games are not normal, because there are no points at stake and a lot can depend on teams’ training schedules, but it is sure to be a difficult game for us.
“We know they are going to be very comfortable with the ball. In England there are not many teams like this and we know we have to improve against that kind of team.
“Against Sporting Gijon, for example, we struggled a bit because we didn’t have the ball at all but I think that is good for us. Maybe there will be two or three teams in our division like that and we have to learn.
“I remember last year against Watford they were really keeping the ball and we lost to them at home, because we didn’t know how to defend or how to cope against that.”
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