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Chris Brunt set to become West Brom's most capped player

Sport | Published:

Chris Brunt will make Albion history tonight on the back of a ringing endorsement of his Baggies captaincy.

The Hawthorns skipper will become the club's record international cap-winner when he lines up for Northern Ireland against Cyprus in Nicosia.

And the often-maligned 29-year-old was today backed by former Albion favourite Richard Sneekes as the best man to lead the club's battle against relegation.

Brunt, who has been singled out for criticism by some Albion fans, will win his 36th cap as a Baggies player this evening to take him clear of current record-holder Zoltan Gera's 35 Hungary appearances during his two spells with the club.

Sneekes said: "How many captains go out and rant and rave now? It doesn't really work. But I believe Chris uses his experience to help the other players on and off the pitch and has all their respect, and he leads by example.

"I'm sure in the dressing room he will be using the experience he has to help the younger lads, and I think he is the perfect choice as captain. First and foremost Chris has a quality left foot, which is a rarity nowadays. He delivers some great corners and free-kicks – and a lot of goals come from set-pieces in this day and age – and gives you quality delivery in open play as well."

"But he also has some great experience and has played a lot of football in the Premier League now, which will help the people around him.

"And he provides great balance. He gets a lot of criticism and I think that is really unfair because of everything he brings to the team.

"When you play wide on the left fans maybe want to see you beating players all the time but that's never been Chris's game.

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"But if you have a real flier wide on the right, Chris is the perfect man to provide you with balance because he is intelligent and will tuck in and give you balance and discipline."

Brunt, who has 45 caps overall for his country, current shares the record for the number of caps won while at The Hawthorns with Gera.

Until last season the record was held by the late Stuart Williams, who earned 33 for Wales as an Albion player between 1950 and 1962.

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