By Rob Jarvis

11th Oct, 2021 | 12:10pm

Kevin Phillips: Matt Clarke return is 'big boost' for West Brom

We’re delighted to welcome former West Brom striker Kevin Phillips as our exclusive columnist. Each week he’ll be giving his views on the biggest talking points at The Hawthorns…

Kevin Phillips has insisted that the return of Matt Clarke from injury is a “big boost” for West Brom in the Championship.

The defender has spent months sidelined, but returned to the pitch for the under-23s last week before sitting on the bench against Stoke.

Phillips admitted that having experienced players around the squad is vital as the Baggies look to stay at the top end of the Championship.

Speaking exclusively to West Brom News, Phillips said, “Of course now with the break, you’d like to think he’ll be in and around it come when they next play.

“Big boost he’s got some minutes under his belt, we know how experienced he is and where West Brom are sitting at the minute, they need those experienced players back in the side to help them.

“That will be a big boost.”

Big boost.

Clarke probably wasn’t fit enough to play against Stoke, and that was highlighted by him staying on the bench.

The international break has now given him two weeks to recover further and he could feature against Birmingham on Friday.

Conor Townsend has been filling in at left centre-half in the back three, and although solid at times, it hasn’t worked as well.

Valerien Ismael will be seriously considering starting Clarke and pushing Townsend back to the left wing-back role where he thrives.

This is a timely boost, and now everyone will be crossing their fingers that Alex Mowatt won’t be out for as long as the likes of Clarke was.

In other West Brom news, ‘Sell him’, ‘Move on’, ‘Loyalties’ – These Baggies Super Fans react to major transfer update