Koren: Xmas Is All about Three Points; Exclusive Baggies Midfielder Sacrificing Festive Cheer for Prem Fight

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), December 21, 2008 | Go to article overview

Koren: Xmas Is All about Three Points; Exclusive Baggies Midfielder Sacrificing Festive Cheer for Prem Fight


Byline: BY ROB TANNER

ROBERT Koren says he has no problem sacrificing Christmas with his young family to aid Albion's fight for Premier League survival.

Koren and Albion visit London on Christmas Day to prepare to face Chelsea at Stamford Bridge the next day and may even be called in for a training session on Christmas morning as manager Tony Mowbray leaves no stone unturned in his search for a winning formula.

Koren may miss out on seeing his twoyear- old son Nal enjoying the festivities but the Slovenian international said it is the price you pay to achieve the dream of playing in the Premier League.

"It isn't easy, especially as in my country Christmas is a big family day and it is hard when you are away from home," said Koren.

"It is easier this year as some of my family are coming over, but we are away for Christmas still. We are travelling down to Chelsea on Christmas Day and we may even be training Christmas morning, we don't know yet, but that is professional football and if that iswhat you have to do then you do it.

"I will be there for my son to open his presents because that is the best part.

"When you decide to become a professional and you play in the best league in the world in England then you know you have a game on Boxing Day. You have to cope with that and be focused on the game."

The 28-year-old says he would love to see the introduction of a continentalstyle mid-season break in England but admits it may be impossible to implement.

"It would be good to have some time off at Christmas but there are somany games in England, with the FA Cup, the Carling Cup and the league programme it would be very difficult to find a time in the schedule to have a rest for a few weeks," Koren said.

"In other ways it is good we play because so many people are able to come to the games because they are off over Christmas. The stadiums are fuller.

"It is difficult when you are a player but when you retire you can enjoy it."

Koren admits Albion's current run of ten games without a victory was difficult but said morale was not low in the camp, and he believes they are not far off becoming a side capable of putting a run of wins together and pushing away from the drop zone. Manchester City come to The Hawthorns today and Koren is confident they can keep Robinho and Co in check and kick-start their season. …

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