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Aug 20, 2012

Gera: Best is yet to come

Zoltan Gera insisted following his stunning opener against Liverpool that he will be better still with more game time under his belt.

The Hungarian international lit up The Hawthorns with a 25-yard screamer that set West Bromwich Albion up for their first opening-day win in seven attempts in the Premier League and underlined the attacking options that are at the disposal of new manager Steve Clarke.

"I'm fit and healthy, so that is the most important thing," said Gera, who had not played since damaging knee ligaments at home to Tottenham in November.

"I'm happy playing in the first game of the season and scored as well, so it couldn't have gone any better.

"I was sure I was coming back for the last few games of last season but I trained the whole of pre-season and I feel much, much better. I still feel I need more game-time, more minutes on the pitch, and then I will be fitter than at the moment.

"It was the first game after a long time out. I had played a few friendlies but the Premier League tempo is totally different. I felt comfortable and hopefully I have no more injuries."

Gera played for Roy Hodgson at Fulham as well as Albion but the manager departed to international football during his long absence.

Not that the change, with Clarke appointed at The Hawthorns in June, appears to have dented his confidence.

"Obviously not because I know I'm a good player and I can play for more than one good manager," he added.

"But he was great. He called me before pre-season and said I'd no need to worry, just to work hard and show what I can do.

"That was a great confidence boost for me, that he still believed in me, so I'm happy.

"We have a very good squad, with good competition for places, and I'm very happy to play in the team. Maybe that was the best goal for me, because it was against a very good team and after being out for nine months. It was special for me. I was lucky to take the ball like that and score and it was a great feeling.

"This is a special place for me. The first time I came to England was to West Brom and, when I left, the club and the supporters were still great towards me. I just want to give back what they gave to me."

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