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Ex-West Brom striker urges Steve Bruce to try something new in Reading clash

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Kevin Phillips believes West Brom’s upcoming clash offers Steve Bruce a great opportunity.

The ex-Baggies forward has urged the 61-year old to try out some of the younger players in the squad this weekend.

The team faces a trip to the Madejski Stadium to face Reading this afternoon, with both teams settled in their league position.

Neither side will have much to play for, which Phillips believes makes it the perfect opportunity to give the youngsters a chance in the team.

The former Premier League striker wants to see if the academy players can prove they deserve first team minutes next season with a run-out in the closing weeks of this campaign.

This comes following Bruce’s admission that Conor Townsend is out of action and likely to be replaced by Zac Ashworth.

“I think it’s a good exercise when you’ve got nothing to play for,” said Phillips, via 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.”

Quiz: Which club did West Brom sign these 24 players from in the 1990s?

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Andy Hunt

West Brom go into this afternoon’s clash 13th in the Championship table and can rise as high as 10th place with a win.

But with the play-off places now out of reach it is a much of a muchness where the team finishes in the table.

Likewise, Reading have now avoided the drop so it is irrelevant how their final two games of the season end.

The Verdict

Playing youngsters at the end of the season in meaningless games is a common occurrence.

It is also the smart thing to do as it brings young players into the side in a pressure-free environment.

If the academy players are given a run-out and make mistakes it won’t matter too much due to their static league position.

But it could be an invaluable learning experience, even if their proper breakthrough doesn’t come for another year or two.


Irish sports writer

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Ex-West Brom striker urges Steve Bruce to try something new in Reading clash

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