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Hal Robson-Kanu: I saw West Brom slump coming

Hal Robson-Kanu has revealed he left Albion last summer because the club was lacking the direction needed to push for promotion.

West Bromwich Albion's Hal Robson-Kanu
West Bromwich Albion's Hal Robson-Kanu

And the striker now hopes big changes are being made behind the scenes to ensure the Baggies can again compete for a place in the Premier League.

Robson-Kanu opted to leave The Hawthorns last year at a time when Xu Ke was chief executive and the club was searching for a replacement for manager Sam Allardyce.

Ron Gourlay has since gone on to replace Xu Ke as CEO.

But looking back, Robson-Kanu wasn’t impressed with Albion’s vision – with his fears proving right as they went on to slump to a 10th-place finish in the Championship.

“I didn’t agree with the direction the club was going in,” Robson-Kanu told the Express & Star’s Baggies Broadcast podcast.

“If I was staying there had to be a long-term vision, a project. I didn’t want to be in a place where we were languishing in mid-table in the Championship.

“I think coming down from the Premier League, you have got to be fighting to go straight back up.

“You have got to have the right structure in place.

“But some of the decisions that were being made and what was being done behind the scenes, I personally didn’t agree with so I felt it was the right time to move on.

“I made that decision quickly, a lot earlier than when it was released.

“The club put out the retained and released list but I told them a month before that I wouldn’t be staying on.

“Looking at the club now – it’s not the vision I have for the club. It should be competing as a minimum in the top two and trying to cement itself in the Premier League. Fingers crossed they can get back to a better vision and execute it.”

Despite having question marks over people behind the scenes, Robson-Kanu believes Albion had the players to mount a promotion push last season.

“There are such good people at the club – back room staff, players that are there are really good people,” the Wales international continued.

“But the direction just wasn’t quiet there.

“You always have to be asking the question: ‘where are we going, are we going straight back up?’

“That is what I wanted to do so let’s make sure it happens.

“We needed the vision, we need the manager but it wasn’t there.

“The players that are there, there is a core group of Premier League players in the squad.

“But you need the direction, the hunger commitment and it needs to come from the top so it wasn’t for me.”

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