West Bromwich Albion coach Keith Downing says they're benefitting from increased competition for places.

Downing insists the return of Chris Brunt from injury in addition to January signings Liam Ridgewell and Keith Andrews has fuelled a fierce battle for places in the Baggies camp.

"It's a huge boost for us," Downing told the WBA website.

"He had a serious injury and one we thought might keep him out for an even longer period.

"So he's come back ahead of time and he's an important player for us. He's a left-sided, reliable player who we have missed over the weeks.

"He boosts the squad and competition for places.

"If you ask me for the secret of the last few weeks it's the likes of Brunty coming back, Andrews and Ridgewell being added, and competition for places."