Bartley struggled on occasions last season when asked to play as part of a three man defensive backline but he has looked calm and assured this campaign playing alongside Semi Ajayi.
The 28-year-old defender is one of the more experienced players in the West Brom defence and he sees himself as one of the leaders in the team.
“My performances have been better than last year,” he admitted. “I have always said if I am healthy and fully fit that I believe in myself and my ability.”
“It is not something to get carried away with, there is a long way of the season to go so I will just keep myself focused and keep my head down and continue working hard.”
“The change in formation helps, as I am playing in my natural position. Last season I struggled a lot with my injuries, I had an operation at the end of the season for something which I was carrying throughout the year. I think the improvement is a mixture of those two things and being fully fit this year.”
“Ever since I was younger, I have always considered myself a leader. I am very vocal, I like to communicate on the pitch and off it. As an experienced player, especially now I take that upon myself to try and marshal that backline and help the boys as much as I can.”
There is no doubt that although the Baggies haven’t been as good defensively as they may have liked, Bartley has been a huge part of the reason why they have impressed in certain games. Alongside Ajayi, they have largely been a good partnership.