Chris Brunt confident West Brom can end slump - beginning against Liverpool

The Baggies travel to Anfield tonight

Skipper Chris Brunt is convinced West Brom will emerge from their current slump now they face a less demanding schedule for the remainder of the campaign.

The Baggies will go into this evening's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool at Anfield on the back of five defeats in their last six games.

Brunt believes the busy programme of games in December and January and injuries took its toll on a squad unable to be rotated in the same way as at the bigger clubs.

But the Northern Ireland international is confident Albion can emulate previous years and have a strong finale to the campaign.

Brunt said: "We are going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment but, for a club our size and for the money we've got and spent, we are still ninth in the league, 34 points.

"We are moving in the right direction but the last few weeks we haven't been great. We know that ourselves and know where we've got to improve to get it right.

"December and January is a pretty hectic period and it's one where we have tended to struggle a bit in the last few seasons and then picked up in February.

"Hopefully that will be the case again - starting on Monday. Our squad has been really stretched over the last few months, a lot of games and a few injuries have really hurt us.

"The boys have just had to play through it or play out of position because we don't have the luxury of rotating the team other clubs can to keep players fresher."

Albion, currently lying in ninth position despite their poor run of results, will only play one match a week through until May and will also have next weekend off after an early exit from the FA Cup.

Brunt said: "From here on in, we go back to playing once a week and, when you have a smaller squad, that does suit you much better.

"I think that's one of the reasons we've had strong ends to the last couple of seasons. We're all human, you just can't press the play button and off you go again.

"When players are carrying knocks or have a lot of games, it does take its toll.

"That's why the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have such big squads, to carry them through the busy periods without suffering but we don't have that luxury."

Full-back Goran Popov will start a three match ban after being sent off against Tottenham last weekend for spitting in the direction of Kyle Walker

PA

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