Jonny Evans is to be reinstated as West Brom captain, Baggies boss Alan Pardew has confirmed.
Evans was stripped of the armband against Southampton last weekend as fellow defender Gareth McAuley skippered the side for the FA Cup fifth-round tie.
Evans was one of four experienced West Brom players, along with Gareth Barry, Jake Livermore, and Boaz Myhill, to allegedly steal a taxi after breaking a club curfew during a warm weather training camp and team bounding exercise in Barcelona.
West Brom face a crucial home clash against Premier League relegation rivals Huddersfield tomorrow and Pardew has said Evans will be captain.
“Jonny Evans will be captain on Saturday, yes, provided he comes through training tomorrow,” said Pardew.
“The disciplinary side is dealt with. There’s a board here that comes together and decides that and that is the decision that has been taken and we move on now.”
West Brom are bottom of the Premier League and seven points from the safety of 17th place, a position currently occupied by tomorrow’s opponents Huddersfield.
Pardew knows his team owe the supporters after dragging the club’s name through the mud with the antics which took place in Spain.
“I was angry about the situation and it’s tempered with us being in a results business and the incident magnified that situation,” he said.
“The only way we can rectify it and get out of this situation is to win games. We have a massive game against a Huddersfield side that have improved recently and we need to win for the fans and for ourselves and show pride and honour in our performance.
“I don’t expect that stadium to be anything other than positive and we need to repay that faith from the fans. I am looking for my players to show the technical ability, courage and nous to go out and do that.”
Pardew has won only three of his 17 games in charge in all competitions since taking over in November from Tony Pulis, who also won just three matches this season before his departure.
“This club was on a difficult run before I arrived and it hasn’t improved since I’ve been here and that’s at my door and I need to put that right,” said Pardew.
“But certainly this week we are much more focused and the desire levels have come together.
“We have three options — perform a great escape, fight and get relegated or go down with a whimper and I certainly hope it’s not the last one. We are determined it won’t be the last one.”
Meanwhile, Wayne Rooney claims he chose the pressure of returning to Everton over a massive pay day in China.
The former England captain was linked with a move to the Far East in the final months of his Manchester United career, but eventually decided on an emotional homecoming at his boyhood club 13 years after leaving.
Rooney told BBC’s Football Focus he decided against seeing out his career “earning a lot of money” overseas.
“That’s not me, I need those goals, I need that pressure. That desire to play would have been lost if I’d chosen that other option,” he said.
“I knew that coming back to Everton was more pressure — that’s what I wanted.
“I wanted to prove myself again to the Everton fans and to try to help this club move forward and win silverware.
“It was the perfect fit for me and hopefully in the next two or three years we can do that.”
Last month manager Sam Allardyce suggested he could not play Rooney and £45m (€50.9m) summer signing Gylfi Sigurdsson in the same side.
That led to Rooney spending a couple of matches on the bench, but the last two games he has started, in a deeper role, resulted in the club’s only two wins in the last 10 fixtures and it now seems Allardyce is open to the options the 32-year-old can offer.
“The one thing which stays is my attitude to playing, my attitude to win, but of course you change and adapt your game and that’s what I feel I’ve done over the last few years,” Rooney added.
“Two years ago, I thought my best position to play was midfield, and that’s starting to happen now.”
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