By Azeem Siddiqui

29th Jul, 2022 | 9:10am

West Brom ready for ‘difficult’ opening fixture against Middlesbrough – Steve Bruce

West Brom manager Steve Bruce believes that a trip to Middlesbrough is the toughest possible start to their Championship season.

The Baggies are coming off the back of a disappointing season last time around where they finished on the 10th spot in the Championship table.

Bruce was quoted in a report by Gazette Live where he stated satisfaction with the players he has at his disposal.

“I don’t think we could’ve picked a more difficult one,” he said.  “They’re going to be there or thereabouts under Chrissy, that’s for sure.

“It’s about to start. I’m pleased it’s about to start – I think we’ve all got to the end of our tether with friendlies, I certainly have. The real ball comes out on Saturday and we have to make sure we are ready.

“I’ve said it many times – last year was the worst in 20 years, so we all have to live with that and cope with the expectation.

“We have some good players to deal with that, we understand where we need to be. That’s never going to change.”

New Season

Bruce is famous for getting the sides promoted and has been given a similar task at West Brom as well. The Baggies have enjoyed a decent transfer window so far by bringing a winger and three midfield players.

There are indications from the club that the former Wigan Athletic manager wants to play in a defensive system with three midfielders.

We can understand those rumours with the signing of Yokuslu as the Turkey International would be playing in the defensive midfield position.

However, it is important that West Brom will not look like a team they were last season with very little productivity in the final third which was one of the reasons why they missed out on a spot in the top six.

With the attacking players they have, they can cause trouble in attack and therefore, unlike last season, the fans would be expecting a more quality attacking display from the players.

In other West Brom news, one former Albion player was delighted by what he heard from the latest arrival at the Hawthorns.