West Bromwich Albion boss Chris Brunt believes Victor Anichebe’s fitness will be key to his side’s Premier League survival hopes.
Anichebe, whose late minute strike helped West Brom climb out of the bottom three in a 1-1 draw with leaders Chelsea less than a fortnight ago, came on towards the end of the first half in Saturday’s draw with Fulham, as a replacement for the injured Billy Jones, before producing a rousing late display and setting up Matej Vydra’s leveler.
And with the hearing of Nicolas Anelka’s ‘quenelle’ goal celebration gesture set to begin on Tuesday by a Football Association (FA) independent commission, the ‘Baggies’ captain believes the Nigeria international could wreck more havoc against other opponents.
“With big Victor (Anichebe) we know we can go more direct,” said Brunt.
“He made a massive difference on Saturday, as he has in other games.
“If we can keep him fit, if we can get him on the pitch, he can cause massive havoc.
“It was only a matter of time before we got one and he played a part in that.”
Anichebe has struggled with niggling injuries this year and with Frenchman Anelka facing a five-to-ten-game ban- pending trial- the 25-year-old remains Brunts only realistic hope upfront.