Sunday 22 April 2018

Pulis explains Jake's break

West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore was given a short break. Photo: PA
West Brom midfielder Jake Livermore was given a short break. Photo: PA

Nick Mashiter

Jake Livermore will return for West Brom at Arsenal but boss Tony Pulis admitted he should have kept quiet over the midfielder's issue.

The 27-year-old was given an extended break this week after his summer was interrupted by international duty with England. He missed last weekend's 0-0 draw with West Ham and the 2-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday. Livermore also posted on social media to ease fans' fears and said the break was only to rest his body after concerns as, in 2015, he escaped a ban despite testing positive for cocaine as he struggled to cope with the death of his newborn son.

He is available for the trip to the Emirates tomorrow and Pulis said he regrets how he handled the situation.

He said: "Jake will be okay. Coming out and saying he was tired mentally and physically, maybe I should have just said he had a hamstring injury and that would have stopped all the press and speculation of this and that. He just needed a break and a couple of days off to dust himself down and clear his mind.

"The thing with Jake was, going away with England in the summer, coming back and then going away with England.

"His stats showed he looked a bit tired and jaded. There was nothing else to it, nothing at all."

Gareth Barry will break Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record if he plays in his 633rd top flight game.

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