Shropshire Star

Steve Bruce looking to increase West Brom midfield options

Steve Bruce says Albion are short of options in central midfield – with the boss eager to strengthen that area this summer.


The Baggies, who face Northampton in a friendly on Wednesday, were beaten 2-0 by Stevenage in a pre-season outing on Saturday.

In the second-half of that game, Bruce experimented with Callum Robinson and Adam Reach in central midfield – two players who are traditionally wingers.

And he said he did that because he is short on options in the middle of the park, with Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury understood to be a loan target.

"The midfield area, I think that’s where we’re short – midfield players," Bruce said when asked why he opted to use Robinson and Reach in the middle of the park at Stevenage.

"Jake Livermore, who I’ve left alone at Stevenage, he’ll come into the reckoning on Wednesday, and then we’ve got (Jayson) Molumby and (Alex) Mowatt – Mowatt has had an operation recently too. We’re wary of him.

"There are not many options in there, so that’s why I wouldn’t read anything into the fact that Robbo and Reachy were in there, it was just a matter of bodies in terms of what we’ve got in the squad at the minute."

Alongside Livermore, Mowatt and Molumby, Albion have John Swift who can play in central midfield.

But Bruce hinted he sees the former Reading more in a number 10 role.

"He (Swift) is going to be a good addition for us," the boss continued.

"He’ll be the one to find a pass.

"If there was one at Stevenage who was going to, it was going to be him.

"He played a pass through to Grady (Diangana) that was as good as you are going to see.

"He’s still got plenty of work to do though, to get himself in better nick, but we still have three weeks to go."

As well as a central midfielder, Bruce is also believed to be in the market for a right-back this summer to provide competition for Darnell Furlong.

But the boss opted to have a look at Matt Phillips in the role at Stevenage.

"I just wanted to have a look at him there," the boss added.

"He’s played at right wing back, so I just wanted to have a look.

"In pre-season you can do that, the result doesn’t matter."