Club News

Keen: Players away could be blessing

Joint-assistant No.2 admits snow has made training tricky

KEVIN Keen admits having ten players away on international duty this week may have been a blessing in disguise after Albion’s training programme was disrupted by snow.

The Baggies’ joint-assistant head coach revealed it has been a battle for the grounds staff to clear even a small area suitable for sessions with the remainder of the first-team squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to West Ham (ko 3pm).

And he says it highlights the importance of the work started by the club at the training ground in the last fortnight to install a £1million-plus state-of-the-art pitch, with under-soil heating and remote-controlled irrigation system.

“The groundsmen have done fantastic and cleared us a 50x40metre area,” said Keen.

“We’ve only got seven or eight senior players and we’ve used that the last couple of days.

“Me, Dean [Kiely] and Keith [Downing] have also been out there digging it out to get it ready for training.

“The good thing is that this is not going to happen next year and the club has done well to spend some money and put under-soil heating in at the training ground.

“I think that will be massive next year because we won’t have these problems.

“We had these problems before Christmas as well and it’s hard work for the grounds staff.

“Hopefully this will be the remedy for all of it.

“I think if we’d have had the full squad in this week it would have been a problem.

“We just wouldn’t have had the area.

“We could just about get away with it with the players we had.”