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Mar 11, 2013

Morrison: We're not used to success

James Morrison admits West Bromwich Albion are in unfamiliar territory as they approach the final two months of the season.

• Blog: Albion end Swans hoodoo

Although the Baggies achieved a tenth-place finish under Roy Hodgson last season, they did so on the back of a strong end to the campaign.

This time round, they have been comfortable throughout and still have a chance of qualifying for Europe.

"We're not used to this sort of position and that shows what a fantastic season we've had," Morrison said. "We have normally been looking over our shoulders but we wanted to put that right and a lot of hard work has gone into it.

"We're delighted where we are and can relax. Steve Clarke has been fantastic, as was Roy, and added some good signings to the good group of players we already had.

"He said at the start of pre-season he wasn't going to change much; just pass it and get the ball up the pitch a bit quicker.

"There was not much wrong and we have come under the radar. We have just plugged away doing our own thing and now we don't want the season to fizzle out."

The Scotland international has been one of the club's players of the season, especially for his contribution in the opening months under new management.

But he admitted it was tough going against a Swansea team who had periods of control at The Hawthorns and were desperately unlucky to be denied a late equaliser by an assistant referee's offside flag.

"We went through a tricky spell and wanted to get our season back on track," he added. "We have done that. We put a fantastic effort in against an amazing football side. It was hard work because they pass the ball amazingly well but we got on top and gave them a taste of their medicine."

Morrison acknowledged the contribution of on-loan Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who scored his 13th goal of the season and had a second-half penalty saved.

And he shares the view of everyone at The Hawthorns in hoping the Belgian 19-year-old will return for a second season in 2013-14.

"His goals are one of the reasons we are where we are," he said. "He will be even better next season. You forget how young he is and I'm sure Chelsea will develop him. He is a handful for everyone."

The midfielder, a UEFA Cup finalist with Middlesbrough under Steve McClaren, would love another crack at Europe if Albion should leapfrog some of the elite in the coming weeks.

"It was great travelling to different countries and playing different opposition," he added. "But it can affect your season.

"I would love to play in Europe again but we couldn't get a win in January or for a lot of December and I'd like to think we would bring some more players in if we made it."

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