West Brom veteran Gareth McAuley has insisted that he’d be ready to play for the club’s Under-23 side in order to maintain his fitness, Sky Sports report.

McAuley has been a key player for the Baggies over the years but has found regular first-team football hard to come by so far this season as a result of a thigh injury.

Obviously being injured at the start of the season was not ideal as I wasn’t able to challenge for a place.

I’ve got two games under my belt here (on international duty) and I just have to go back, train well and see what happens there.

Charles McQuillan/Getty Images Sport

Along with this, the addition of Ahmed Hegazi on loan has only heightened the competition at centre-back at the Hawthorns, and McAuley is ready to play Premier League 2 fixtures to ensure that he is physically on hand to compete for his club and country.

I’ll try and get some football anyway, even if it’s with the 23s or with the first team, I need to make sure I maintain fitness going into the games next month

McAuley has helped Northern Ireland to securing a play-off place in the qualifying stages for the World Cup 2018, and will be keen to represent his country in what is likely to be his last major, international tournament.

For now though, the 37-year-old will look to regain his place in Tony Pulis’ side.

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