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Meite mission helps Baggies.

Byline: Chris Lepkowski

ALBION will benefit from Abdoulaye Meite's World Cup dream, according to his Baggies teammate Gianni Zuiverloon. Ivory Coast defender Meite has not featured in his nation's squad for their more recent internationals, mainly due to his lack of first-team action at club level during the early part of the campaign.

But the ex-Bolton man knows that regular football will give him a major chance of being included in the nation's squad for South Africa next summer, as well as the African Cup of Nations, which kicks off in the New Year.

Zuiverloon has been impressed with Meite's form since his return to the first team picture and feels that his team-mate's desperation to play for his nation will only help Albion's cause.

"I said after the Preston game a few weeks ago that Abou can be a very important player for us," said Zuiverloon.

"He's strong, quick and has experience.

He has great abilities.

"The World Cup is important to him.

"He wants to play in the World Cup and so he knows he needs to play often and play well.

"At the beginning of the season he wasn't playing and he was saying that he would only be able to go to the World Cup if he was playing.

"He has waited for his chance, trained hard. It's up to the gaffer who plays and Abou is taking that chance. He's doing well."

Both played their part in Saturday's 5-0 win against Watford, with Zuiverloon scoring his first League goal for the Baggies.

He feels the clean sheet, Albion's second in succession, was just as important as the five goal haul.

"The clean sheet was very good," he added. "We talked about it a half-time and wanted to ensure we keep the clean sheet - in many ways it was the most important thing for us. It shows the defence is improving.

"We say that after every clean sheet but we are training so hard as a back four, but also as a team including midfielders and offensive players.

"The whole team has to defend - it's something we are all involved in. But a clean sheet gives us confidence."

CAPTION(S):

High and Meite: Abdoulaye Meite is hoping to represent the Ivory Coast in South Africa.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 3, 2009
Words:379
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