West Brom manager Jimmy Shan has delivered a boost for the club’s final fixtures of the season by confirming that Ahmed Hegaziwill be available to play despite missing out against Reading.
The absence of the Egyptian defender from the matchday squad was a worrying sight for the Baggies faithful in their 0-0 draw against Reading on Easter Monday, having picked up a knock in Friday’s 3-2 win over Hull City.
Caretaker boss Shan spoke about the centre back after the disappointing draw at the Madjeksi Stadium and told BirminghamLive:“No, he was rested today because he came off in the game against Hull. But he was totally rested today due to the fact he came off in the Hull game.”
West Brom confirmed their place in the play-offs with the draw and will now be given a few days rest confirmed Shan:
“We’ve got an optional recovery day tomorrow, a day off the following day. So will we know more on Thursday.”
With their fate now sealed in the Championship, West Brom will now look to gain momentum which will be key for any push towards promotion.
It is no secret that West Brom have struggled defensively this season. They have conceded the most goals in the Championship’s top 11, joint with Aston Villa on 58. Stability is needed at the back, along with their best players and Hegazi is definitely one of their best. The Egyptian will need to play their last two fixtures to gain momentum and fitness and when at optimum level, the Baggies’ back four only gets better. With free scoring local rivals Villa their likely opponents in the play-offs, Jimmy Shan will need Hegazi back to partner Craig Dawson to have the best possible chance of winning. Even though West Brom kept a clean sheet today, they will face a much sterner test against the Villains and they had Sam Johnstone in goal to thank for that on Monday. If the Baggies can field a consistent starting XI over the next couple of weeks, the play-off challenge will certainly become a little bit easier.