Chris Humphrey’s exclusive column

Chris Humphrey
Chris Humphrey
Share this article
0
Have your say

It is my birthday tomorrow so the best present would be three points at Brentford.

The birthday celebrations will have to wait for a little while though, because of the games coming up.

We are straight back from London to start preparing for the Capital One Cup game against Bournemouth on Tuesday – a competition we want to go as far as possible in.

So I will wait until after the Wolves games to go out with a few friends and celebrate turning 28 – being a West Bromwich fan as a youngster, beating Wolves would be nice!

My two kids are getting more excited about my birthday than I do, they are buzzing.

They were out buying presents this week and my missus was having to stop them telling me what they had got.

Next week it is my daughter’s birthday so it is nice that we are close together in that respect.

I suppose that when you get to this age, your birthday is not half as exciting as when you were a kid – it will be a case of a pair of socks and some deodorant no doubt!

With my birthday falling on the day of a long-distance away match, we will be in a hotel.

Who my room mate will be, I’m not too sure.

Normally it is Jermaine Beckford but obviously he is out injured at the moment and won’t be travelling.

So it might be a case of having the room to myself or one of the other lads will have the honour of rooming with me.

Becks is a really good room mate to be fair, he is a funny guy and keeps you entertained.

Being the younger out of the two of us, I make the tea which I don’t get any thanks for. This is the first away game we’ve had since Becks had his operation.

He was with us at Hull before the international break, that was the time when his knee had started to trouble him again.

I wish Becks all the best in his recovery from the operation he had the other week and look forward to the time when he is fit to play again.

During the international break, I played two games for Jamaica against Nicaragua.

That was the first stage of our bid to qualify for the World Cup in Russia in 2018.

We played Nicaragua home and away, winning 4-2 on aggregate.

Had we lost, that would have been it – qualifying over at the first hurdle.

Now we move on to a group stage where we play Panama, Costa Rica and Haiti.

The top two of that group go through to another qualifying group, so if you do end up reaching the World Cup, you will have earned it!

In the first game against Nicaragua, we lost 3-2 at home which was something of a surprise.

I came on as a substitute in that game but then got a start at right wing-back – I wear the No.2 shirt for Jamaica – in the return leg in Managua.

We won 2-0 away to qualify for the next stage which was a big relief.

I have got to admit that I did not see very much of Nicaragua during our time there.

After we arrived, we were told to stay in the hotel because there is a high risk of kidnapping. When you hear something like that, you think: ‘Okay, I’ll stay in the hotel’.

There was no going for a stroll to pass the time or nipping out to do some shopping. The hotel we stayed in was great and there was plenty to do to keep entertained.

When you’ve 20 lads together, there is always something going on and plenty of banter flying about.

We did feel safe in the hotel because there were security guys with machine guns outside.

Nicaragua has a lot of poverty and that was brought home to us when we walked out on to the pitch with local kids who were the mascots.

They had no shoes on and it just makes you appreciate what you have got.

After we won, it was straight back to the hotel and obviously no celebrations outside of it because of the security risk.

It was a case of getting straight to bed for some sleep before the long journey home.

We flew from Nicaragua to Miami which took two hours, then we had a four-hour wait at Miami waiting for the transfer flight.

The flight from Miami back to Heathrow was eight hours and then I got the train from London back to Preston.

With only getting back last Friday, I could totally understand why I did not start the game against Derby the following day.

I was pleased to get a start in the Bristol City game on Tuesday night and hopefully I can keep my place this weekend.