Jake Livermore still has key role to play for West Brom insists Steve Bruce

Albion boss Steve Bruce insists Jake Livermore has still got a big role to play this season despite being in the ‘winter’ of his career.

Jake Livermore of West Bromwich Albion arrives at the stadium ahead of the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Hull City at The Hawthorns on August 20, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).
Jake Livermore of West Bromwich Albion arrives at the stadium ahead of the Sky Bet Championship between West Bromwich Albion and Hull City at The Hawthorns on August 20, 2022 in West Bromwich, United Kingdom. (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images).

Bruce added The Hawthorns skipper has accepted that due to his advancing years game time in the heart of the midfield will be less regular.

Livermore, 32, admitted this week his role as Baggies captain and senior player stretches well beyond what happens on the pitch.

The former England international was not named in the side that ran out 5-2 victors over his former club Hull last weekend, although he was introduced as a substitute – an outing which made it 200 appearances in Albion colours.

“I bought Jake in his prime years and he’s getting now to the winter of his career,” Bruce said of the club captain.

“But let me tell you he’s got wonderful leadership skills, he’s very, very popular in the dressing room and the club with the way he is and conducts himself.

“He’s been a magnificent servant for the club. He’s been here five years, played his 200th game last week, it’s a wonderful achievement.

“You know what I think of him, I’ve got nothing but praise.

“He’s got to a stage in his career where he’s 80-odd kilos, to try to do 12km every three days – like he does (in games) – is not possible anymore.

“I think he gets it, he knows it, but he’s still got a big part to play.”

A busy early schedule, increased due to the World Cup beginning in November, means the demand on Albion’s thin squad has been intense.

Following today’s trip to Huddersfield, Bruce’s men head to newly-promoted Wigan on Tuesday before a return home, where they face Burnley on Friday evening.

Following that, though, is a rare free midweek ahead of the international break which begins after the clash at Norwich on Saturday, September 17 – which follows games against Coventry and Birmingham.

“He wants to play, if I said he’d play every day then he would, but he accepts it and knows,” Bruce continued on Livermore.

“The one thing about the football world it keeps going like this (up) physically and when you get to a certain age, it happens to us all, you’re not quite what you were when you were 24.”

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