West Brom V Hull at The Hawthorns : Match Preview

01 January 2017 09:34
West Brom V Hull - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.

Hal Robson-Kanu could command starting berth with Baggies - Tony Pulis

Tony Pulis believes Hal Robson-Kanu has all the requisite qualities to command a regular starting berth at West Brom.

Pulis admitted Robson-Kanu was a "bit-part player" at West Brom before he scored his thunderous winning goal in the 2-1 Premier League victory at Southampton on New Year's Eve.

Robson-Kanu's first top-flight goal in more than three years, on his first start for West Brom, handed the Baggies three points on the south coast, leaving Pulis with a selection dilemma.

West Brom host Hull at The Hawthorns on Monday, with manager Pulis facing a tough call on whether to start Robson-Kanu or Salomon Rondon up front.

"Well on Monday I've got a decision now, haven't I?" said Pulis of whether Robson-Kanu can now fight for regular action at West Brom.

"Hal's attitude round the club, his willingness to work and join in, even though he's only been basically a bit-part player, because of Salomon, has been fantastic.

"I can't speak more highly of his character.

"He's just so wholehearted. He gives you everything all the time.

"So we had no problems in starting him at Southampton - the difficult thing was leaving Salomon out, because he's been fantastic for us as well."

Shane Long headed Southampton into the lead at St Mary's on Saturday, only for Matt Phillips to slide home a rapid-fire equaliser.

West Brom upped the attacking ante after the break and gained almost immediate dividends, with Phillips playing in Robson-Kanu for the stunning winner.

Pulis admitted his side can ill afford the kind of slow start that hampered their Southampton clash when facing Hull on Monday.

West Brom's flight down to the south coast on Friday was grounded by fog, forcing Pulis and his squad to travel by a hastily arranged coach.

The former Stoke and Crystal Palace boss hopes those logistical delays can account for a sluggish start at St Mary's.

"I thought in the first half we were awful really, we sat there and never did anything, never threw a punch," said Pulis.

"We scored a great goal before half-time and it really gave us a lift. And in the second half I thought we were the better team.

"We had our flight cancelled on Friday. We were at the airport, the flight was cancelled and the bus had already travelled down.

"So we had to get another bus to come down and it took about four or five hours to get down.

"So whether that was in their legs or not I don't know.

"But the performance between the first and second half was chalk and cheese."

Hull have been given a boost before the trip to West Brom after Egypt agreed to let Ahmed Elmohamady turn up late for African Nations Cup duty.

Egypt's foreign-based players were ordered to arrive at their training camp on Tuesday in preparation for the tournament, which starts on January 14 in Gabon, but midfielder Elmohamady has been allowed to arrive late in order to play at The Hawthorns.

Stoke's request for winger Ramadan Sobhi to delay his arrival so he could play in Tuesday's home game against Watford has been turned down.

"We received requests from Stoke City and Hull City asking to delay the arrival of Ramadan Sobhi and Ahmed Elmohamady respectively to join the national team camp to start preparations for the 2017 African Nations Cup" Egypt's team director Ihab Leheta told reporters.

"We agreed with Hull City to delay the arrival of Elmohamady, but we refused Stoke City's request."

Boss Mike Phelan has no new injury or suspension concerns, while midfield pair Tom Huddlestone and Sam Clucas are both pushing for recalls after starting on the bench in Friday night's home draw against Everton.

Source: PAR