Express & Star

West Brom's Tony Strudwick on brink of World Cup exit with Wales

West Brom's head of medical Tony Strudwick could be heading home from the World Cup - with Wales on the bring of an early exit.

Wales' Gareth Bale (11) appears dejected in the team huddle at full time after the FIFA World Cup Group B match at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium, Al-Rayyan. Picture date: Friday November 25, 2022. PA Photo. See PA story WORLDCUP Wales. Photo credit should read: Mike Egerton/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Use subject to restrictions. Editorial use only, no commercial use without prior consent from rights holder.

Strudwick, who was brought to West Brom by Steve Bruce in the summer, has been the Wales national team's head of performance since 2018.

But hopes of progressing further in the competition for Strudwick and Wales took a major blow - when they were beaten by 2-0 by Iran on Friday.

In a tight game that neither side could afford to lose - Wayne Hennessey was sent off for denying Iran a goalscoring opportunity - with the Iranians then striking twice deep into injury time to break Welsh hearts.

And at the end of the game, Strudwick, who has previously worked at Manchester United, had an embrace with Iran boss Carlos Queiroz on the touchline, with the two having worked closely together at Manchester United.

It isn't the first time Strudwick, who has worked an array of clubs, has been at a World Cup with a national side.

In 2014, during his time at Manchester United, he was part of the England national team backroom staff in Brazil.

Back in the summer when Strudwick was appointed at Albion - and became part of the club's new 'football board', the then Baggies boss Steve Bruce, described Strudwick as 'one of the best signings of the summer'.

Prior to his sacking, Bruce, who took Strudwick to Sheffield Wednesday during his short spell at Hillsborough, said: "I have to say over all of the signings we got over the summer, Tony is as good as I've seen in a long, long time.

"I know he did Man U for 10 or 12 years.

"It's just everything, the way he is, conducts himself, the presentation, the whole thing is the real deal.

"Unfortunately (at Sheffield Wednesday) I took him in and left after four weeks, which he wasn't very happy about as you can imagine.

"He's a huge part, to have somebody as good as that in the club is terrific."