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Mason Holgate and Craig Dawson set to be fit but Matt Phillips and Kieran Gibbs still sidelined

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Mason Holgate and Craig Dawson are expected to shake off their injuries to feature for Albion at Brentford tomorrow – but Matt Phillips and Kieran Gibbs are still sidelined.

Mason Holgate. (AMA)

Holgate and Dawson were both forced off during Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Swansea in James Shan’s first game as caretaker boss.

But Shan is hopeful they will be available for selection at Griffin Park.

Phillips and Gibbs are unavailable, while Gareth Barry and Tosin Adarabioyo face late fitness test.

“Mason and Dawson were much better yesterday,” said Shan. “They’ll be reviewed again today.

“Matty Phillips has a slight issue with his ankle tendon. He might possibly be out. Kieran Gibbs will be back in the international break.

“The only other one is Tosin with a hamstring. We expect Mason and Craig from the other night to be available for selection.

“Gaz has missed four or five days, but he took training yesterday. Again we’ll have an update today to see how he felt and came through that.

“He’s been managing an injury over the last four to five weeks. We’ll have an update from the medical team, but he trained yesterday and seemingly came through unscathed.

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“The ins and outs (of Dawson injury) I’m not too sure I just know it was an impact injury.

Brentford v West Brom: Matt Wilson and Luke Hatfield preview

“He was very sore Wednesday evening, but much better yesterday.

“Craig’s a determined character and knows his body very well. His first report to the medical team was ‘I’ll be fine’.”

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Albion picked up their first home win of 2019 on Wednesday, when Shan switched to a 4-1-4-1 formation and reinstated club captain Chris Brunt into the team.

However, he said he will make changes to his side at Griffin Park due to fatigue and the different threats Brentford pose.

“You can’t underestimate levels of fatigue that goes through players in a three-game week,” he said.

“We’re going to have to change it if we want a freshness, and an improvement on certain aspects of our game from midweek.

“There will be changes. That’s part and parcel of any three-game week.

“Looking at Brentford, they pose a different tactical threat, so when you play against different formations and systems there will always be slight tweaks.”

With a new head coach expected to arrive during the international break, tomorrow’s match at Griffin Park could be Shan’s final one in charge as caretaker. But he’s enjoyed his time so far.

“It’s enjoyable because it’s what I’ve had a passion doing for the last 18 years,” he said. “It’s fun. There’s a lot more added pressure compared to my previous role as U23s manager I suppose.

“I’m certainly waking up thinking a lot about the game at night and it’s breaking my sleep. But in a strange way I’m enjoying it.”

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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