Shropshire Star

Steve Bruce: Plenty of West Brom positives, but Okay Yokuslu move unlikely

Steve Bruce believes there have been plenty of positives from Albion’s pre-season trip to Portugal – while the boss also said it is unlikely he will make a move for Okay Yokuslu.


The Baggies, who beat Leyton Orient in their first friendly of the summer tonight, fly home from Portimão in the morning having spent the past 10 days at a warm-weather boot camp.

For Bruce, the trip was key to allow new signings John Swift and Jed Wallace to get to know their new team mates.

The boss also wanted to guide Daryl Dike, Alex Mowatt and Kenneth Zohore back into action after they ended last season injured.

“Everybody has come through it which is crucial in the first 10 days, people like Dike and Zohore have come through it,” Bruce said.

“It’s been tough. But they have dug deep.

“For the two new lads – it's about helping them settle in and get to know the other players.

“They are quality players in the Championship. They can only add experience and know-how to us, they are going to be fine.

“Everyone has found it (the camp) difficult. But they have all worked hard.”

Albion beat Leyton Orient thanks to goals from Conor Townsend and Zac Ashworth – although they gifted their opponents a late consolation when Cedric Kipre scored a comical own-goal.

“We were comfortable in the game but we want to play better football,” Bruce continued.

“We gave a hideous own-goal away but up until then, I thought Cedric played very well.

"It was first time I’ve seen him play and he reminded me what a good player he is.

“It was a hideous own-goal that will be on Soccer AM and Christmas videos but apart from that I was pleased with the way he played.

“It was good to see the young ones play as well. Zac Ashworth scored a great goal, so good for him.

“We’re going to play an in-house game on Thursday where we’ll be better and we’ll be better again at Stevenage on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, Bruce admitted it’s unlikely he’ll make a move for former Baggie Yokuslu who has just been released by Celta Vigo.

The 28-year-old impressed on loan for Albion in the Premier League back in 2021.

And his release from Celta has led to many Baggies fans hoping he will return.

On Yokuslu, Bruce said: “He was a very good player, he didn’t play a lot last year – if I’m being brutally honest I think that ship might have sailed.”