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Chris Brunt was nervous on West Brom return

Sport | Published:

Chris Brunt may have played more than 300 times for the Baggies, but he admitted he was still 'nervous' before Saturday's game.

The long-serving utility man came off the bench against Tottenham for his first appearance in nearly eight months, making his long-awaited return from the cruel anterior cruciate knee injury that ruled him out of Euro 2016.

The 31-year-old former club captain received a hero's welcome at The Hawthorns and made an impact on proceedings, winning the corner that eventually led to Nacer Chadli's goal.

"It was great to get on," said Brunt. "I wasn't too sure what it would be like. There were 21 players in the squad and I wasn't sure if I'd make the bench or not.

"When the gaffer told me to get sorted and get ready to go on I was a little bit nervous. But I've been training the last five or six weeks and it's been going OK.

"Nothing really prepares you for the Premier League. I felt good, I was pleased. It's a step in the right direction. That's 25 minutes. Maybe get a little bit longer and try to get back in the team."

It's been a long road to recovery for the Northern Irishman, who's been clocking up minutes for the under-23s in recent weeks, but there's nothing quite like playing first-team football.

"You do all the tests and stuff and I know physically I'm fit enough and the knee's probably better than it was before," said Brunt. "You know all that but there's no substitute for playing."

Albion drew 1-1 with Spurs to extend their unbeaten run to four games, but the Baggies were on course to win all three points until Dele Alli finally beat an inspired Ben Foster in the 89th minute.

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"If someone had offered us a point before the game I think we'd have taken it," said Brunt. "Obviously when you score that late on it's disappointing to only come away with a point but Ben's made some fantastic saves so I think if they'd have come away with nothing they'd have been a bit disappointed."

And Brunt heaped praise on Foster for his man of the match performance, adding: "He's a great goalkeeper, he came up trumps and made some fantastic saves.

"It was just disappointing that one crept in because if anyone deserved a clean sheet it was him. He hasn't got anything to beat himself up about with the goal. There wasn't much he could do about that."

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