Shropshire Star

West Brom pair have gone from outcasts to outstanding in race for play-offs

At one point they were outcasts who looked destined for a quiet end to their Albion careers.

Cedric Kipre spent last season on loan at Cardiff City (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

One was being jeered by his own fans, the other farmed out on loan with seemingly no future at the club.

But fast forward to today and they've fused together in a centre back pairing that has conceded just 18 goals in 24 starts this season - while also boasting nine shut outs.

Few expected Cedric Kipre and Kyle Bartley to develop such a water tight partnership - but that is exactly what they have done.

When Carlos Corberan's teams tend not to win by big margins, they need to have solid defences, and at the moment Albion certainly have that.

For many Albion fans Kipre was a relative unknown but it seems quite clear that ever since Corberan walked in the door, he had his eyes on the centre half who at the time was on loan at Cardiff.

A ball playing rock of defender, Kipre was exactly what Corberan wanted as he went about developing his philosophy of building from the back.

On the opening day and after his error strewn performance at Ewood Park - some were already asking questions, but Corberan did not waiver and for good reason.

Kipre would go on to reveal how reassurances from the manager after that opening day to forget led to his sparkling form.

And it has been sparkling. It has been a regular occurrence to see centre forwards bouncing off Kipre this season.