Baggies begin striker search

10 July 2008 11:20
Manager Tony Mowbray is confident of finding a suitable replacement for Kevin Phillips following the veteran striker's decision not to sign a new contract with West Bromwich Albion. Phillips, 34, has joined Albion's local rivals Birmingham City on a free transfer after the Championship club offered him a two-year deal rather than the 12-month option on the table at The Hawthorns. "We made Kevin a very substantial financial offer for the next two years, but in my opinion the second year had to be earned," Mowbray told the club's official website. "Kevin's advisors were adamant they wanted a straight two-year contract and, as that was the sticking point, I have no problem with the outcome. "I've had a couple of very amicable conversations with Kevin in the past two days. Now that he's made his decision, I'd like to thank him for his goals and contribution over the past two seasons. "He's a top professional and has been a pleasure to work with. We all wish him well." Meanwhile, the Baggies boss has vowed to find the right replacement ahead of the start of their first season back in the top-flight. "Kevin was a big player for our club over the last two seasons but we should look forward to some new exciting players coming here," Mowbray continued. "I remain very positive. This time last year we lost some very influential players but went on to win promotion and reach the FA Cup semi-finals."

Source: ESA