Club News

Mel reveals left-back solution

Boss provides latest on Ridgewell and McAuley injuries

PEPE Mel insists Chris Brunt will start at left-back against West Ham on Saturday (ko 3pm) after losing Liam Ridgewell to injury in tonight’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City.

The former Blues defender was forced off with a knee injury to leave Albion down to ten men in the closing stages of the Etihad Stadium encounter, having already used all their subs.

He will undergo tests tomorrow to discover the full extent of the problem but has been ruled out of facing the Hammers in five days’ time, with Mel set to give Brunt the nod over Goran Popov to fill his boots.

“Brunt can do a really good job in this role and I’m certain that Ridgewell will not be available for the West Ham game, so Chris Brunt is a good option,” said the Albion head coach.

“I select the best players for each particular game and therefore the best option is Chris Brunt.

“Popov has not played for a very long time and this game against West Ham is absolutely vital.”

Gareth McAuley missed the City clash due to a calf injury sustained in training and is battling to be fit for the visit of Sam Allardyce’s men.

Mel added: “McAuley could well play on Saturday.”