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Lopez looks in great shape
Gus Poyet is confident his latest Spanish signing will be fit and ready for an early introduction into the Championship.
But the Albion boss wants to give David Lopez, and his other new signings, as much match practice as possible this week as he prepares for Friday’s home game against Sheffield Wednesday.
Lopez has not played a competitive match since last season while Dean Hammond, Stephen Dobbie and Andrea Orlandi have also been short of league and cup action this term.
But Poyet, who must decide how and when to integrate his new boys into a side who have taken seven points from their last three games, said: “They are fit. They just need match fitness.
“We did plenty of fitness tests with them last week and they are good but they need to play games.
“We are going to manage that during the week.
“We have done a little bit of 11 v 11 against the development group already. We are taking care of that.
“They look quite fit despite not playing to be fair - but players normally are.”
In particular, Poyet has assured fans there will be no repeat with Lopez of the wait they had to see his fellow Spanish creator Vicente at full power.
He added: “David is a really fit boy. He can run a long time and recover quickly."
Albion return to training today without Tomasz Kuszczak, who is away with Poland.
Adam El-Abd will return early after Egypt's friendly with Cameroon, scheduled for tomorrow, was cancelled due to security concerns,
Poyet said: “Hosko is much better than expected. The recovery was quicker.
“But we won't risk him. We will wait the weeks you need to wait after a fracture.”
Albion players enjoyed a long weekend off work, including injury-troubled Vicente.
The club will assess his fitness when he reports back today