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Sam Allardyce acknowledges that Robert Snodgrass may have a similar impact on West Brom as a legendary figure had on him at Bolton nearly 17 years ago.
Snodgrass, 33, is expected to complete a free transfer from West Ham on Friday. The Scottish winger underwent a medical examination on Thursday and has reached an agreement for 18 months at The Hawthorns.
The former Leeds and Hull player will become Allardyce’s first signing since he replaced Slaven Bilic last month.
Snodgrass will join a club in the midst of relegation battle. However, Allardyce said he had experience and leadership qualities that could prove vital to West Brom in the months ahead.
“I hope it’s like Gary Speed for me at Bolton, ”said Allardyce, who signed Speed, then 34, from Newcastle in 2004.
“He may do well, but in his mind he still thinks he’s 20. Snodgrass runs all day, he has great quality and a lot of experience. Never give up.
“Hopefully that will rub off on some of these players who will look at it and say, ‘My word.’ Raising your spirits and raising standards is very important in a professional soccer club. It’s even more important in a Premier club. League ”.
Allardyce hopes Snodgrass is just the start of West Brom’s January business. Expect a forward to be the next to walk through the door with Karlan Grant facing six weeks out with a broken bone in his foot.
But the Baggies boss said Reports linking the club to Newcastle’s Andy Carroll were off the mark. In fact, he thinks a signing is more likely to come from abroad.
“I’m looking for a leader, but I don’t think Andy is available at the moment,” he said.
Steve (Bruce), like everyone else, needs all of his options at this particularly difficult time.
“I’m not looking at Andy. I’m looking at a figurehead and hope he gets in the door as quickly as possible. But that would be from abroad instead of this country. “
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Allardyce Provides Covid-19 Update
Two West Brom players tested positive for coronavirus on Sunday and went into self-isolation.
After the training ground was closed for a deep cleaning, additional tests on Wednesday came back negative.
However, the virus continues to cause postponements and disruptions. Villa is the last club to suffer an outbreak. However, Allardyce says that previous reports that he wanted a “circuit breaker” for the accessory list were “misinterpreted.”
“I said that if the science was right, it would be a good thing. Then they portrayed me in all the newspapers saying that we should do it. That was not the case ” Allardyce said.
“Obviously, I am, and we all are, concerned about the spread of this virus and about everyone’s safety.
“We retest twice a week, using masks and disinfectant. We speak with the players to make sure all protocols are followed.
“We had a handful this week, but we feel comfortable where we are right now. We are looking forward to playing the FA Cup in Blackpool. “
Allardyce ready for the FA Cup
Saturday’s cup tie will bring Allardyce back to one of his first clubs in management. He says it would be “bittersweet” given the way he abruptly pulled away from Bloomfield Road in 1996.
Allardyce does, although he plans to make radical changes on his side.
However, he has challenged those who come out to prove they are good enough to help West Brom’s relegation fight.
“It’s impossible to play a team at full strength because of fatigue,” he said. “It has been game after game and this is the first week that we can bring in other members of the team, experienced players who have played all over the world.
“They have the opportunity to show me that they are good enough. They can say, ‘Here we are, coach, choose us.
“That is your challenge. They have to show us, not tell us, that they are good enough to play for West Brom, and if that’s not the motivation to win, I don’t know what is. “
READ MORE: Allardyce offers a dim glimpse of Baggies squad