Skipper 'desperate' to recover for derby
CHRIS Brunt's hopes of playing in Saturday's derby clash with Villa remain very much in the balance.
The Northern Ireland international, who scored a beauty in last season's Villa Park fixture, injured his hamstring in last Tuesday's Barclays Premier League defeat to West Ham United.
But Brunt - who joined Joleon Lescott, Ben Foster, Gareth McAuley and Craig Garnder on yesterday's festive visit to Birmingham Children's Hospital - is 'desperate' to play against Albion's neighbours.
Asked whether he will be fit, Brunt said: "I'm not sure, I've been doing bits and pieces this week but it'll be touch and go. We have a few days to work on it but with the type of injury it is I will need to make sure 100 per cent whether I'm fit or not.
"It's just a small strain but it just depends how I react to the rehab. I felt it go straight away in the game so I knew I had to come off. I did the right thing but I was disappointed to come off as, as soon as I stepped off the pitch, West Ham scored the second goal.
"I'll take advice from the medical staff but it's a game I'm desperate to play in. It's a game I've always enjoyed and one you look forward to."
Albion kept a clean sheet in Saturday's draw a Hull - a result Brunt feels the Baggies can build on.
The Albion captain continued: "Things haven't been going our way at the minute, the lads stopped the rot on Saturday and the clean sheet is always a bonus in the form we've been in – we've been concedeing a lot of goals.
"So to get a clean sheet was great and we need to add that little bit more going forward now and hopefully try to build on it.
"We need to go and win the game, especially at home where we haven't been playing well. Three points is a big target for us this week."