Di Matteo backs 'leader' Brunt
Roberto Di Matteo has backed Chris Brunt to lead West Brom to victory against Blackpool on Saturday.
Last Updated: 14/01/11 1:40pm
Roberto Di Matteo has backed Chris Brunt to lead West Brom to victory against Blackpool after being handed the captain's armband.
The Baggies boss has dropped regular skipper, goalkeeper Scott Carson from the team to face Ian Holloway's side at the Hawthorns on Saturday after a string of indifferent performances.
The Italian has instead opted for Boaz Myhill to replace him in goal after impressing against Reading in the FA Cup third round defeat last weekend.
And after installing Northern Ireland international Brunt as the new skipper, Di Matteo is adamant the 26-year-old is up to the task.
He told his club's official website: "Chris has matured a lot in the time I've been at the club. He's become a very consistent player.
"He's got a great personality and is very well respected. I think he is a natural captain."
Di Matteo hopes his side can put to an end a six-match losing streak which sees them go into the clash sitting in 16th position.
He added: "I haven't had a run like this as a manager or a player so it is new to me. But a few of our players have gone through it before and so have some of the staff.
"So we have been talking about it and talking to the players, trying to pick them up and give them some confidence.
"One good result can change everything.
"It was good to get a normal week in and give people the chance to recover their energy and get over illness. So it has been good for us and we really needed it.
"We were on our last legs in the FA Cup and you could see we couldn't quite raise our game to where we wanted to."