By West Brom News speaking to Kevin Phillips

29th Apr, 2022 | 6:10pm

Kevin Phillips: Good chance for West Brom to play youngsters v Reading

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 it is the perfect time for Steve Bruce to use some academy talents for West Brom against Reading.

The ex-Baggies talisman admitted that with nothing to play for, you can see if these young players are ready for the Championship.

It comes after Bruce confirmed that Conor Townsend will miss the Reading game, with Zac Ashworth likely to come in.

“I think it’s a good exercise when you’ve got nothing to play for,” he exclusively told West Brom News.

“Why would you not use them, when managers have nothing to play for, you look at players for pre-season and you can always get an impression.

“When you stick them into a Championship fixture, you can learn a lot about them quickly, it’s a great opportunity for the manager to get eyes on players now and who can handle it, I think it would be really good.”

This is the perfect time for Bruce to use the academy.

We have nothing to lose and there is no chance of us making the Championship playoffs, so the competitive streak has gone.

Bruce is already planning for next season, and if some of these young faces come in and impress, they could play a huge part in that.

Look at Taylor Gardner-Hickman this season, it proves that sometimes you have better options within the club rather than spending millions.

Travelling to Reading this weekend, you would be smart to not expect huge things with a much-changed side clearly on the cards.

In other West Brom news, Steve Bruce has held talks over new Baggies signing since arriving with a work permit update shared

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