Koren: Give My Pal Gera a Break; EXCLUSIVE STAR URGES FANS NOT TO JEER 'ZOLLY'
Byline: BY GRAHAM HILL
ALBION midfielder Robert Koren has urged Baggies fans not to jeer Zoltan Gera when he returns to The Hawthorns - as the Hungarian was one of the reasons the club is in the Premier League this season.
Baggies host Fulham next Saturday with Gera set to line up for the first time against his former team-mates.
The midfielder turned down a new deal to stay at Albion in the summer and chose a move to Craven Cottage instead as manager Roy Hodgson embarked on a major overhaul of the Londoners' squad.
But Koren says that Gera's commitment to the Baggies was never in doubt whenever he played for them - despite seemingly constant speculation about his future.
Gera will be the second former Albion star to make a re-apperance at The Hawthorns in as many weeks.
Curtis Davies was part of last Sunday's Aston Villa side and the Albion faithful let him know what they thought of his decision to leave them the previous year after asking for a move.
Yet the boos could not prevent a Villa win.
But while Koren wants to avoid that scenario, he also insists Gera's situation was not the same - and points to the 10 goals he scored last season when Albion charged to the Championship title.
Koren remains good friends with 'Zolly', who was signed by Gary Megson and spent four years at Albion.
And he insists Gera wants Albion to do well even though the battle lines will be drawn next weekend.
"It is difficult to say how the supporters will react to Zoltan as he hasn't been gone long," said Koren.
"But he was a good guy who didn't get involved in playing strange games with the fans or with anybody at the club.
"He thought it was the best thing for him to join Fulham. I think we all need to move on and we wish him all the best.
"Zolly leaving and Curtis Davies leaving was different. Curtis did a great job for the club but the way he left meant it was difficult for him and the fans. For Zolly, it's not that kind of problem.
"I think he had a great relationship with the supporters and don't forget he did a great job for us last season, he helped us to get promotion. So I really think the fans will appreciate what he did for this club.
"Of course, our supporters want us to win so I don't expect them to wish Zolly well when we play. We want to give our fans some belief again that we can do things in the Premier League. We want points from the game as we need them. …