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Sunday 19 November 2017

West Brom manager Tony Pulis backs Jake Livermore to respond to England snub

West Brom's Jake Livermore had been in Gareth Southgate's last four England squads
West Brom's Jake Livermore had been in Gareth Southgate's last four England squads

West Brom boss Tony Pulis has backed Jake Livermore to recover from his England snub.

The midfielder has been dropped by England boss Gareth Southgate for the Three Lions' friendlies against Germany and Brazil this month.

It is a blow to Livermore's World Cup hopes ahead of next year's tournament in Russia after he had been an ever present in the squad since a recall in March.

But Pulis believes the five-cap international will hit back following Southgate's seven-man cull, which included Chris Smalling and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

He said: "Gareth made seven or eight changes and he's going to have a look at other people and everything else. Jake, in the last two or three games, has been back to his best.

"He has played better football than when he got selected - and that won't have done him any harm - but I don't think it's anything but Gareth wanting to bring a few others in and looking at other people.

"It's not affected his confidence at all, he's been great. He's been very good, not just on the pitch. Eventually he could end up being captain, he's that good around the place."

Meanwhile, James Morrison is closing in on a comeback after seeing a specialist in Holland over a persistent Achilles problem.

The midfielder has also battled a hamstring injury this season and while he is out for Saturday's Premier League trip to Huddersfield he is expected to return after the international break.

Pulis said: "James went to Holland and saw a specialist last week and the news was decent. Fingers crossed he'll be up and running next week and maybe around for the Chelsea game which will be a bonus."

Craig Dawson will be out until December with a knee injury but Oliver Burke is back following a hamstring injury.

"Once everyone is fit I know what team I want to pick, I know what balance that team would be and what we'd do and up until we get those players fit we'll try and get the best out of what we've got," Pulis added.

Press Association

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