Brunt targets fitness boost
Chris Brunt believes Northern Ireland's friendly against Finland will help get him ready for the start of the new Premier League season.
Last Updated: 13/08/12 9:15am
Chris Brunt believes Northern Ireland's friendly against Finland will help get him ready for the start of the new Premier League season with West Bromwich Albion.
Brunt has been sidelined for the majority of the summer with a calf strain which initially flared up during a visit to Belfast.
He had to return early from Albion's trip to Sweden and only made his comeback on Friday evening as a substitute against Nottingham Forest.
Manager Steve Clarke has said he is hopeful that Brunt will be fit for Saturday's league opener at home to Liverpool, and the 27-year-old would like to think that a run-out for Northern Ireland will put him in contention.
Brunt said: "Internationals at this stage are never good timing but, from my point of view, having missed virtually every friendly, it will be good to get some minutes under my belt.
"I should then get a better idea of how fit I am and hopefully I'll be involved in the first league game against Liverpool at the weekend."
Brunt admitted: "It's been a rubbish pre-season from my point of view. I went back to Belfast during the summer, went for a run, and just felt my calf go.
"Then it flared up again in Sweden but I felt okay against Forest so touch wood it is now fine."