Bryan Robson has insisted Nathan Ellington will have a major part to play during the final third of the season as he challenged the West Brom striker to prove his worth.
Ellington cost £3m (€4.4m) from Wigan in the summer and looked to have established himself as Kanu’s partner up front after a spell of four goals in three games at the end of November.
He has not found the net since and in the past couple of games the veteran combination of Geoff Horsfield and Kevin Campbell have been preferred in attack against Charlton and Blackburn.
But Ellington is likely to get another chance when Horsfield’s expected move to Sheffield United goes through after Kanu’s return from African Nations Cup duty.
Robson told PA Sport: “Strikers need goals for confidence and that’s the case with Nathan. He proved in a short period of time, scoring four times in three games, that he is capable of doing it and strikers are like that.
“They are in and out. I think it has taken Nathan a little bit of time to get used to the pace of the Premiership but he’ll get his chance from now until the end of the season and it’s up to him to prove his worth.”
Robson is looking for Albion to find some sort of consistency to ensure they are not sucked back into the relegation zone.
They are currently six points clear of the drop zone after the 2-0 win over Blackburn.
The Baggies have often flattered to deceive, winning at Wigan but then losing at home in the next league game to bottom-placed Sunderland.
Robson said: “Our aim is to pull away from the relegation fight. We need to get into a consistent run of performances and results and, if we can do that over the next few weeks, then we can widen the gap.”