Brunt in contention at Stoke

ALAN Pardew admits Chris Brunt’s impressive performance against Manchester United means he is in the mix for a starting berth at Stoke City later today (ko 3pm).

The Northern Ireland international’s impact as a substitute last Sunday almost earned Albion a late Hawthorns point against the Red Devils.  

And the Baggies boss says that display - coupled with his performances in training - might earn ‘Brunty’ a place in the starting XI at the bet365 Stadium. 

“There’s no way of masking that he could start because his second-half was what he’d showed in training,” said Pardew.

“He also has the experience of being able to play under this sort of pressure. He’s been under it before and he understands what it’s about and he can still deliver that technical performance.

“So, yes, he is under consideration.

“When I look to that side of the pitch, which has been strong for us because I thought James and ‘Gibbo’ did very well, we’ll have to see if I can squeeze him in."

Pardew could also be boosted by the return of Craig Dawson, who has been absent since October with a knee injury.

“Craig’s a great character, who I only know as an opposition player, and then the three or four days he has worked with me.

“He definitely is ready to play. After Brunt he’s probably the player who is next ready - he’s ahead of Chadli.

“He’s going to be significant for us from now until the end of the season and I hope he stays fit.” 

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