Zoltan Gera hoping to earn new deal

Zoltan Gera has five months to prove he can still operate at Premier League level and extend his playing career at West Bromwich Albion.

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The Hungary international made his return from almost a year out with a ruptured cruciate ligament injury in Albion's 2-1 defeat against Newcastle United at the weekend.

He only has until the end of the season before his existing contract with Albion runs out and the 34-year-old is desperate to make up for lost time at the Hawthorns, after his second ruptured cruciate in as many seasons.

Albion have not discussed any possibility of offering him an extension on the one-year deal he signed last summer and have always made it clear they want to see whether the midfielder can return to full fitness.

With the arrival of several players in the summer, Gera knows he has a battle on his hands to save his Albion career and said: "I have to play this season, but the squad is very strong with lots of good players.

"I want no more injuries and hopefully I can play like I know I can and can carry on playing football [beyond this season].

"It’s a very, very strong squad and it will be difficult to get back in, but hopefully when I get the chance I will prove on I can play in this team. We have never been stronger and that’s good for the team and players -- more competition."

Gera remains a popular figure at the Hawthorns with supporters and staff and recieved a warm reception after emerging as an 88th-minute replacement at St James’ Park.

"It’s great to be back in the action with the boys. I am delighted. I feel fit and strong so hopefully I can play more now and get back to my best," he said.

"It was a hard 10 months but it has gone quickly and the most important thing is that I feel great. My knee is giving me no problems at all and it feels stronger than ever and stronger than last time so I don’t have any fear to be playing.

"So I just want to play well now and play a lot. That’s important to me."