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Kieran Gibbs injury ‘is not a bad one’ says West Brom boss Slaven Bilic

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Kieran Gibbs will be assessed before Saturday's game with Blackburn over his groin issue.

Kieran Gibbs (AMA)

The left-back was forced off 20 minutes into the 1-1 draw with Derby after giving away a soft penalty six minutes in.

It was a recurring injury for Gibbs, which might rule him out of this weekend's home match against Tony Mowbray's Rovers side.

But Baggies boss Slaven Bilic doesn't expect the niggle to keep him out longer than that.

"It isn't bad but it's his problem, that little groin issue," said Bilic. "It looks like it's not a long, long one, but we are not sure about Blackburn.

"After that it's the international break. We'll try for Blackburn, if not we have Conor [Townsend], who every time he played he was top."

Bilic is hoping to go into the first international break of the season on the back of a victory, which will also keep Albion's unbeaten league record intact.

He's confident the hard work will pay off eventually, and he's warned that Charlie Austin – who didn't feature in Derby – needs to be managed.

"That's what I told all the guys," said Bilic. "It may come sooner or later, the workrate is going to be rewarded.

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"Make no mistake Charlie Austin is our main striker, but we have to manage him before he comes back to full fitness.

"It’s a difficult league, you can’t just attack. You have to be solid, ready and good enough in every aspect of the game.

"You have to defend in numbers and have good transition in defence to stop the opponent, because every team can hurt you.

"It’s so difficult to score a goal and it’s so easy to concede if you are not there with numbers.

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"Like every other team in the world you have to lean a little bit more to attacking philosophy than this one.

"It’s our job to force those players who are good on the ball to go forward and also to defend.

"You can never score as many goals as you concede if you don’t defend properly."

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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