Nicky Shorey admits his career has stalled over the past couple of seasons but the former England defender is determined to show he still has what it takes to cut it at the highest level with West Bromwich Albion.
The 29-year-old left-back returned to the club where he started out as a trainee when the much-changed Baggies beat League One side Leyton Orient 2-0 on Tuesday night. Shorey's consistent form during Reading's top-flight campaign saw him earn two England caps in the summer of 2007.
However, following the Royals' relegation, a move to Aston Villa turned sour and eventually the defender was loaned to first Nottingham Forest and then Fulham at the end of last season before signing permanently for Albion early this month.
Shorey is now fully focused on what lies ahead as the Baggies battle to stay in the top flight. "My career stalled a bit at Villa for whatever reason. I am not going to go into that, so I am excited about a new challenge," he said. "I am just going to go out there and play games. It was so frustrating being at Villa and not playing, but that is all history now and I want to push on and try to get a few games.
"I feel privileged to have played for England. Whether it will happen again, who knows? That is for someone else to tell me."
Shorey revealed it was an emotional experience to return to Brisbane Road. "I love this club and used to sit in the main stand," said the defender, who left for Reading in 2001. "It is well run and hopefully I will come back again some day."
After safely securing passage into the Carling Cup third round with goals from Pablo Ibanez, and substitute Chris Wood in stoppage time, it is the small matter of a trip to Anfield next up on Sunday.
Albion manager Roberto di Matteo was taking no chances with his team selection on Tuesday night, naming a completely different starting XI. Goalkeeper Scott Carson, Scotland midfielder Graham Dorrans and Nigerian striker Peter Odemwingie, who had scored on his debut against Sunderland, were all left on the bench at the Matchroom Stadium.
Shorey, who made his Baggies debut as a late substitute last weekend, believes Di Matteo's side must show no fear when they take on a Liverpool team smarting from defeat at Manchester City.
"It doesn't get any easier, but that is a game we want to go and enjoy," the defender said.
"The lads worked hard last season to get the club promoted and the Premier League is where we want to be. Any given day you want to go out there and try and put on a performance and get a result.
"On the first day of the season, Chelsea were very good that day and we were a bit under par.
"But you have to learn from it. It was a bit of a kick up the backside really." Shorey maintained: "I don't think there is ever a good time to play Liverpool. They had a bad time on Monday night, but they are a top team with a top manager as well."Reuse content