Inamoto advance impresses Robson

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The Baggies manager, Bryan Robson, insists Inamoto has every chance of achieving both if he continues to perform like he did in his match-winning show for the Baggies at his former club Fulham in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night. Inamoto, who arrived at Arsenal in a blaze of publicity four years ago but never played a Premiership game for the Gunners, struck a stunning extra-time winner to seal the Baggies' 3-2 third-round triumph.

"I am aiming to play as many games as possible for West Brom in World Cup year," he said. "I know it will mean a lot of hard work because we have some fine players in the squad but I was delighted to make one goal for Rob Earnshaw and score another for the team against Fulham and I hope I have done enough to be noticed."

Inamoto, 26, left Arsenal at the end of the 2001-2 season to join Fulham where he made 41 appearances over two seasons and scored a hat-trick in an Intertoto Cup final. He moved on again when the Thamesside club would not pay an extra £600,000 to his Japanese club Gamba Osaka to keep him.

He made only three appearances for Albion last season but following an ankle injury was loaned out to Cardiff. After returning to The Hawthorns this season he was selected for the opening game of the season against Manchester City.

But until Tuesday night he had made only one further appearance as a substitute against Chelsea and wanted to go on loan again and stay sharp for the world's biggest tournament, which takes place in Germany next year.

But now Robson, who described Inamoto's performance at Craven Cottage as "outstanding", is hopeful that the midfielder has finally adapted to the demands of the English game. He said: "For me that's his best game since I've been here. He did very well against a Fulham midfield with Steed Malbranque and Sylvain Legwinski, which is pretty good. We spoke about lapses of concentration and things which he had to put right and in this match he put it all in. I'm delighted he's taken it on board.

"I can't consider sending him out on loan again. I've got a squad of players who are still in the cup and have some important League matches coming up. I can understand his concerns. With a World Cup in the summer he needs to impress but on that performance he can do that."

Inamoto, who has over 60 caps for Japan, may get his chance again on Sunday with Kanu (hamstring), Diomansy Kamara (ankle ligaments), and Darren Carter (knee) all doubtful for the home game with Newcastle.

The left-back Paul Robinson will also be out because of a three-match suspension after a red card at Fulham following n incident with Zat Knight in the dying seconds. Robinson had already been booked by the referee, Andy D'Urso, for a foul and complained to the official after being slammed into the hoardings at the side of the pitch. He was shown a straight red card.

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