Valerien Ismael provides fitness update on key player at West Brom | OneFootball

Valerien Ismael provides fitness update on key player at West Brom

Logo: Football League World

Football League World

West Bromwich Albion are hoping for an imminent return to first team action for Kyle Bartley.

The former Arsenal man missed the Baggies’ 1-0 defeat at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday nursing an ankle knock.

The injury was sustained in Albion’s FA Cup third round loss to Brighton and Hove Albion, where Bartley played the full 120 minutes despite being in visible discomfort in the closing exchanges.

Valerien Ismael explained how crucial Bartley’s return will be when he spoke to BirminghamLive.

He said: “We hope he comes back next week.

“Normally the injury is seven to ten days so we hope he comes back next week to have another possibility.

“Cedric Kipre will be back, but it’s not enough – we need every player, a strong team and a strong bench, and when you have that you can compete in a top game like that with the best XI, but at the minute we have to find solutions.”

Regular wing backs Conor Townsend and Darnell Furlong slotted into the back three for the trip to West London, and they would have escaped with a clean sheet if it was not for, former Baggie, Charlie Austin’s 89th minute header.

Bartley has taken the armband at times this season and, at 30, he has matured into a very commanding central defender at Championship level.

The Verdict

1 of 28

Darnell Furlong

Hull Millwall QPR Reading

Saturday’s defeat saw West Brom fall to fifth place in the table.

The Baggies have not looked convincing, particularly in the final third, for some months now and with a seven point gap between themselves and the top two, having to settle for a play-off finish seems more likely than not.

However, with the top six chasing pack growing and looking more menacing by the week, the Baggies may be better advised to be looking over their shoulders to ensure they remain in the play-off mix.

Back-to-back home games against bottom half sides Peterborough United and Preston North End should be enough to allow West Brom to get pushing back in the right direction, though the fitness of leaders like Bartley does seem critical to achieving that.

Mentioned in this article

View publisher imprint