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Steve Bruce: West Brom may have to look to transfer market after Daryl Dike injury setback

Albion boss Steve Bruce admits the fresh injury setback for Daryl Dike could force his hand in the transfer market.

Steve Bruce during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Watford at The Hawthorns on August 8, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Steve Bruce during the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Watford at The Hawthorns on August 8, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Bruce, speaking after his side impressed in a 1-1 Hawthorns draw against Watford, revealed he had not previously been looking to bolster his forward line.

It was confirmed ahead of kick-off that Dike, 22, had pulled up with a thigh injury in training on Sunday, with the manager adding that Albion are 'devastated' after the latest blow.

Fellow striker Karlan Grant got his season up and running against the Hornets, cancelling out Ismaila Sarr's wondergoal opener on an evening the hosts impressed - but the Dike news remained the clear negative.

"It's a real frustration for us all, and the boy," Bruce said of the United States international's setback.

"He's young, he's 22, desperate to go to the World Cup with his nation, and he's worked tirelessly to get right. Yesterday, he kicked a ball and has done something to his thigh which didn't look very good.

"We're hoping it's not too bad, but from my experience it's bad enough the way he pulled up. He kicked a ball, frustrating.

"He knew straightaway. He's devastated, like all of us. We're devastated for him because he's really popular with the supporters because of the way he plays, and the way he is.

"It's bad luck, really bad luck. You've got a 22-year-old who comes here and has never been injured, then he picks up three since he's walked through the door last January."

Asked whether Dike's injury changes plans in the transfer window, Bruce added: "We'll have a conversation with Ron (Gourlay, CEO).

"Plans get changed because of what's just happened. We've got a hell of a schedule coming up too.

"I never like doing anything (reacting) but we may have to find something because it wasn't an area I was looking, being honest.

"With the way we played, with the two out and out No.9s we've got – it's frustrating, we'll see what happens."

Bruce was delighted with what he saw from his side against the well-fancied Hornets.

The boss felt it was the best performance from his side since his appointment in February.

"When I walked through the door in February, I was subsequently trying to change it...to that," he added.

"It takes a little bit of time. The pre-season, the way the lads have worked, the way they are, I couldn't have asked for more, the way they executed it.

"They were terrific, some of the football they played – against a very good team. Sometimes you don't get what you deserve in this game, but that's as good as I've seen us play certainly, since I've been at the club.

"All of them played well, which especially after conceding that wonder goal, the reaction I was disappointed with at Middlesbrough, but today it was good to watch.

"You'd expect them (Watford) to be up there, especially if they keep a hold of their front three. They can't run very fast, can they? Dear oh dear! They'll cause a few problems for a few teams I'm sure. They're very, very good in the top half of the pitch."

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