ireland's call' | 

Steve Bruce opens Baggies door to reprieve for outcast Irish striker Callum Robinson

Callum Robinson, above, has impressed West Brom boss Steve Bruce with his start to the new season. Photo: PA Wire© PA


Steve Bruce has told Ireland striker Callum Robinson that he may have a future at a struggling West Brom despite pre-season indications that the forward was on his way out.

Robinson was the club’s second top scorer last season but he was heavily linked with a move away from the Hawthorns, with former club Preston one of the sides chasing the 27-year-old.

Their manager confirmed the club’s interest in Robinson before the season started, though a deal was held up as West Brom wanted to sell the player while Preston asked about a loan deal.

But injuries to other strikers have opened the door for Robinson, who started last week’s League Cup win over Sheffield United. He then made his first league appearance of the season in Saturday’s defeat to Blackburn, in a difficult start to the campaign as West Brom took just two points from the first three league games.

“Robbo reminded us he’s a good player, I’ve got no problem with Robbo at all, he’s a very, very good player,” Bruce said as the Baggies host Cardiff City tonight.

“That’s the beauty of him [Robinson], he’s helpful to me because he plays anywhere across the front line. I think that’s his best position – a free role to drop in those pockets. He certainly has the relationship with Karlan Grant. He got nine or 10 goals and nine or 10 assists last year, no problem with him.”

Robinson and fellow Baggies Dara O’Shea and Jayson Molumby will tonight face an international team-mate who has been revived this season in Callum O’Dowda. He has been earning praise for his form with Cardiff since his summer move from Bristol City as he claimed an assist on all three goals scored by City this term.

“I’m really pleased with the start I’ve had so far and how welcomed I’ve been by the fans and everybody around the club. I think being higher up the pitch and using my strengths to attack is something I want to do more and the more goals and assists I get, the better,” said O’Dowda.

“I am hungry for more and I want to hit my personal targets this season whilst getting us as high up the table as possible. In the past I’ve been used as a wing-back, but I think playing higher on the left side is where I’m strongest. I’ve spoken with the manager a lot about my positional play and we’ve done a lot of work on that since I’ve arrived.”

O’Dowda (27) is keen to work his way back into the frame at international level after a fallow spell. He played in the first three games of Stephen Kenny’s reign as Ireland boss but has not featured since the loss away to Wales in 2020.

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