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Ally Robertson: My way or the highway - West Brom boss Steve Bruce has got it right

Steve Bruce is making big changes at Albion as he works to get the club back on track.

West Brom boss Steve Bruce has told Albion's players they need to move closer to the club (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
West Brom boss Steve Bruce has told Albion's players they need to move closer to the club (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

And one of those changes has seen him implement a rule which states all players have to live within one hour of the training ground.

As it stands we have eight or nine players who travel for 90 minutes or more to get to training every day.

Some live in London. Some in Yorkshire. Some are even further afield than that.

And I think that’s ridiculous and I completely agree with Bruce that this change needs to be made. In my day we had a rule that you had to live within 30 to 50 miles of the training ground.

The club owned five or six houses that new signings would live in for an extended period of time while they found their own place.

Occasionally, exceptions were made. But, in football, there is nothing worse than players finishing training and immediately getting into their cars and going home.

In my day we would all stay behind after training. We might do a bit more work. But we would always have a good laugh.

And that is where our camaraderie was built. We enjoyed being together. It’s what gave us our team spirit. Our lot today, though, are just getting into their cars and going to whatever corner of the country they live in. And that is reflected in their performances. The team spirit just isn’t there.

Imagine having to travel over an hour-and-a-half to training every day. You’d have to allow for two hours in case there is any traffic. It’s definitely not right and it can’t be good for anybody. You see it in the players’ lounge after a game at The Hawthorns. It’s only ever three or four players that come up. And it’s always the same faces. The rest are straight home – and who can blame them when they live so far away?

Yet again, though, they are missing out on that time bonding with their team-mates.

Of course, there are some players who won’t be able to move to the area. They may have children settled at a local school for example.

But Bruce has said they can rent an apartment nearby. And with what they earn they can easily afford it. I understand some fans are concerned this rule may lead to us missing out on some signings.

But if that’s the case so be it. We need players that are committed to the club.

It’s more important that we cut down their travelling time and build a team spirit that’s been badly lacking this season – because if you don’t have that togetherness, you don’t stand a chance.

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