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Dec 31, 2012

Thorne hoping to become a regular

George Thorne has set his sights on causing Steve Clarke a selection headache after an impressive first Premier League start for West Bromwich Albion.

• Blog: Jekyll and Hyde for West Brom

Thorne, 19, went from serving Darren Ferguson at Peterborough United to pitting his wits against Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United when he stepped into Steve Clarke's side at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The midfielder has made it clear that he intends to assert himself in Albion's first team.

"Ultimately, I want to be a West Brom starting player," he said. "I got my chance because of a few injuries and absences and if I get another chance, I'll have to take it and give the gaffer something to think about.

"If a situation arises where the injured players come back fit and I'm not involved, we will have to sit down and look at it again.

"But, for now, I am around the team and involved, so we will see what happens in the coming weeks.

"We're all professionals and a lot of lads go away on loan and come back. I've done it before, so it's straight back on with the job.

"I had a phone call about 48 hours before the game as I was preparing to face Bristol City (with Peterborough) and they said they needed me in the squad at Old Trafford.

"Then I found out on Saturday that I was playing but I was ready and I felt sharp. That's what they send you out on loan for and I got a chance.

"Playing at Old Trafford is a dream of every kid when they're growing up but you can't really get caught up in it.

"We're here to do a job, so as I was walking out, I knew I had a tough game ahead."

Thorne's only previous Albion appearances under Clarke had been in the Capital One Cup and he had been given only one Premier League start before this weekend.

But he was content with his contribution and hopes to at least be in the squad as Clarke's side look to extend their excellent home record against Fulham on New Year's Day.

"Going in at half-time, we felt quietly confident and we knew if we kept it at 1-0 for the majority of the game, we would have a chance to hopefully nick a point," he said. "We pushed for it and it just didn't break for us in the end and they got a late second goal.

"But we knew we could have a good go at the game and we were unfortunate. It was a hard task but, for the majority of the game, we were very much in it.

"We will push on to the Fulham game, a few of the lads might be back and we will see what happens. They're coming to our place and we've been very good there this year. It will be up to us to continue that and get three points."

The Chatham youngster had played 14 games on loan at Portsmouth prior to his seven games at Peterborough, and Clarke was impressed by what he saw.

"I thought he was excellent," Clarke said. "He will learn a lot from players at our club. We have some fantastic midfield players. Youssouf Mulumbu, Claudio Yacob, who has been outstanding too - both were missing on Saturday. But George went in there, played alongside Chris Brunt and, at times, they bossed the midfield. That's a credit to him."

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