Kyle in contention – but not as skipper!
KYLE EDWARDS is in contention to start Albion’s Championship clash with Huddersfield following his impressive cameo against Fulham.
But head coach Slaven Bilic joked the 21-year-old will not be the Baggies’ skipper when the Terriers visit tomorrow.
Edwards slipped on the captain’s armband when he came on for Jake Livermore at Craven Cottage last weekend – due to him having been at the club the longest.
And Bilic admitted even he was surprised when he first realised the youngster was captaining his side.
“Kyle is great – he came on and did really well at Fulham,” the head coach said. “I told him all last week before the game, he was on fire and training really well.
“Against Fulham he improved us. And he has trained really well this week also. It’s all about that. Is he going to start or not? I don’t know – we will see.
“But he isn’t going to be captain. It actually happened once before, I thought then it was strange Kyle was captain.
“He wasn’t captain because of his character. It was because he was the longest servant of the club in that moment of the game.”
Chris Brunt is officially Albion’s captain.
But he is yet to feature this season with Jake Livermore having worn the armband. Bilic, though, doesn’t get overly concerned by who has the title of skipper.
“You can’t have five captains,” he continued.
“We have Jake and Chris, they are the captains.
“You have Chris who is club captain but at the moment he is not playing. You have Jake who is captain.
“But if this player gets injured, or if that player gets injured – especially if it happens during a game – I’m not going to be a freak about it, you just sort those things out.”
Meanwhile, Bilic says he will not rush Ahmed Hegazi’s return to the first-team despite the defender returning to training this week.
The Egyptian played 45 minutes in a match at Albion’s training ground on Wednesday.
But he is yet to feature this season after undergoing ankle surgery.
“It (Hegazi’s return) depends on the medical team,” the head coach added.
“He was until a few days ago totally with the medical team.
“The guys who are between the medical team for fitness, and now it’s a combination - we need to listen to them, they know it’s going to be as soon as possible.
“If the under-23s are playing two games in one week, he isn’t going to play both of them of course.
“Although we want him all back as soon as possible, we won’t do anything stupid that might jeopardise his recovery.
“I don’t want to be negative – everything with Ahmed is good and ahead of the schedule. But we can’t make a wrong move.”