‘Being fancied will add extra pressure’

Bruno. Picture: Phil Westlake
Bruno. Picture: Phil Westlake

Bruno feels Albion will have to deal with the extra pressure of being one of the favourites for promotion this summer.

The 35-year-old Spaniard was named club captain this summer, taking over from Gordon Greer who was released at the end of the season, and is expecting the Championship to be even harder to get out of this season.

He said: “We need to realise that it’s going to be even harder this season because for all the other teams, we are one of the favourites to be up there and that’s going to be more pressure for us but we need to deal with that.

“The most important thing is to be humble. Of course we had a great season last year but that doesn’t mean what we did before is going to help now. We need to keep approaching games with the same intensity, the same mentality and we know if do the same things, we are going to be there.”

Bruno says the team will be spurred on by the disappointment of missing out on promotion last season and said: “It was really hard for us but now it’s just a motivation. We know that is football, every year there are a few examples and we need to learn from that and I think the team is ready to start the season.”

With Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich coming down from the Premier League, it will be another tough campaign for any team to get to the top flight and Bruno said: “Always the Championship is competitive. A few teams like Newcastle, Aston Villa, Norwich, we expect they are going to be up there but last season there were a few teams as well and we were fighting with them, like Hull, Burnley, Middlesbrough and they were spending a lot of money as well.

“Every season is so hard in the Championship and especially it’s about the mentality.”

Bruno admits a strong start is important but says it is key not to get too down with any defeats. Albion began last season with a 22-game unbeaten league run and Bruno said: “To start that well last season makes you believe but we cannot just try to get that run.

“The most important thing is to think about this season and not see what we did last season because if you lose one game, we cannot get really disappointed. We’ve just got to keep going, we know that’s football.

“If we lose the first game, away, it doesn’t mean anything. For example last season we got a lot of draws as well. Why not get more wins this season?”

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