By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

13th Oct, 2021 | 1:10pm

Kevin Phillips agrees with Valerien Ismael admission about West Brom squad

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 defended Valerien Ismael after the West Brom manager said his players need a rest during this international break.

As quoted by the Express & Star after the defeat to Stoke earlier this month, Ismael admitted that the international break came at the right time for his squad.

He said that he and his players all need to “re-charge” their batteries while the Championship season takes a short break for World Cup qualifiers.

While it’s still early days in the season, Phillips understands Ismael’s point while also slamming their performance in the 1-0 loss at Stoke.

Speaking to West Brom News, Phillips said: “Yeah, [it’s understandable] with the style of football.

“I was at the game at Stoke and they were pretty poor on the night, to be honest. Stoke played well so the better team on the evening won.

With the style of play, they need to rest when they can.

“I think people have asked, ‘can they keep that style up all season with the size of the squad?’. It’s very difficult to do that.”

West Brom return to action on Friday night when they take on West Midlands rivals Birmingham at The Hawthorns.

Albion suffered their first league defeat of the season at the hands of Stoke before the international break and will want to bounce back to winning ways at the first opportunity.

If they don’t, Ismael’s side could slip down from second to fifth in the Championship table with a defeat to Blues.

In other West Brom news, one Baggies player has blown a journalist away with a recent international display.

Be sure to follow West Brom News on Facebook and Twitter for 24/7 updates on the Baggies and more exclusive interviews with Kevin Phillips.