Date: 12th July 2017 at 7:29am
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Chris Brunt has been speaking ahead of West Bromwich Albion’s opening pre season friendly tonight against Slavia Prague.

We face the Czech champions later this evening in Kumberg with the game carrying a 5pm local time kick off, and the Northern Ireland international admitted there were two things he hoped he and his team mates would take out of the game.

Namely, as many as possible get valuable match minutes under their belt and then as we try to win the game, don’t pick up any knocks and injuries after a heavy week of training.

Speaking to wba.co.uk ahead of the game, Brunt explained.

‘It’s important not to pick up any knocks after the week we’ve had. The lads will be wanting to get through their first set of minutes in the season. It’s been a while since some of the boys played but a lot of us had games in June and over the summer break so it hasn’t been as long.’

Brunt went on to say that whilst the result isn’t life and death, ultimately they are professionals so want to pick up victories as we go – even though the main aim is fitness at this stage of the season.

‘The result will take care of itself and it’s not a life or death situation. Saying that, whenever you step across that white line as professional footballers, you always want to win any game that you are involved in. We know it’ll be a tough game because they are the champions of their country and they’ll probably be a couple of weeks ahead of us fitness wise because of their involvement in the Champions League qualifiers.’

Echoing that we’ll probably be behind them in their pre season build up owing to their Champions League qualifying campaign, Brunt went on to point to recent pre season friendlies against Red Bull Salzburg and Paris Saint-Germain and they show just how difficult this one will be but it will be a relief after all the training.

‘Our week has had a heavy fitness focus on it so it’ll be nice to get out there, have a touch of the ball and get rid of some rustiness.’

Brunt went on to joke that knowing what they are in store for work wise in pre season training doesn’t make it easier each year.

‘Not much has changed in terms of the week we have here. People know what to expect and they know what is coming in Austria. It’s not easy getting up at 5:30am and being told to get up hills – it’s tough at the time. Most lads have only had a couple of weeks off so players tend to come back for pre-season in really good shape because they know they need to hit the ground running for the start of the Premier League season. You can’t afford to be off the pace come August.’

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