Robson eyes Kirkland move
By Graeme Bailey
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bryan Robson has confirmed his intention to make a permanent bid for Chris Kirkland.
West Brom boss Bryan Robson has confirmed his intention to make a permanent bid for Chris Kirkland.
The 25-year-old has spent the whole season on loan at The Hawthorns from Liverpool, although he was restricted to just ten games due to injury and the subsequent form of Pole Tomasz Kuszczak.
Kirkland has seen his slim chances of a World Cup place with England disappear, but Robson is determined to make a move for him.
"Chris has shown an unbelievable attitude," said Robson.
"He's come in and been mixing with the lads.
"He's been training with us even though he can't do any goalkeeping because of his broken finger.
"He's shown real commitment, so that will be a position we'll be looking at to see if we can take it any further forward."
Robson admits he does not have to sell any of his squad, despite West Brom's relegation - with speculation linking the likes of Zoltan Gera and Curtis Davies with moves away from the club.
"The thing in my favour is that financially we can keep everybody," insisted the Baggies chief.
Robson also insisted his big stars will still get good exposure in The Championship.
"I know people say the Premiership is the place to be but the Championship also gets a lot of exposure," said Robson.
"You look at the stadiums in the Championship, those clubs have been in the Premiership, clubs like Derby, Leicester, Sunderland, Wolves and ourselves.
"They're great places to play. They might not get the 30-40,000 crowds but they do get in the 20s.
"They are good stadiums with great atmospheres.
"You're still playing football at a really good level.
"We've got internationals in our squad but I'll be saying 'go and prove yourself in the Championship'.
"The challenge is there to win a medal by winning the division."
Robson, who has previously guided Middlesbrough to two promotions from The Championship, is upbeat about The Baggies' chances next term - but he refuses to believe that a quick return to The Premiership will be easy.
"No-one here is thinking we'll just be automatically promoted," he said.
"Birmingham will have a useful squad and look at how Sunderland won the Championship the last time they were in it," he added.
"The likes of Leeds, who are in the play-offs at present, have been rebuilding and restructuring their squad.
"There are some decent squads in the Championship, some big clubs and it will be a difficult challenge.
"But we won't be competing against the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
"Instead, we'll be the ones people will be looking at and trying to shoot down because we'll be one of the favourites to go back up."