West Brom expecting to lose veteran Phillips

July 8, 2008

West Brom manager Tony Mowbray admits he expects to lose veteran striker Kevin Phillips this summer.

Former Sunderland striker Phillips, who turns 35 later this month, is holding out for a two-year contract.

However West Brom are prepared to offer only one year, and Phillips could spurn the chance to play in the Barclays Premier League by stepping down to join a club in the Coca-Cola Championship.

Mowbray said: 'I'm pretty sure his preferred choice would be to stay here.

'But, at this moment, it is unlikely he will stay here.

'If there's a stumbling block that we can't overcome then so be it.'

Phillips' goals helped West Brom to promotion last season but Mowbray is prepared to look elsewhere for a frontman to lead his attack in the top flight.

'My strong belief, particularly when footballers get to 35, is that I find it very hard to hand out two-year contracts to 35-year-olds - however well they've done,' he said.

'I genuinely believe if Kevin wants to stay, he should back his ability and earn his second year.'

Mowbray added: 'We're looking for another striker regardless of what he does.'

Meanwhile, West Brom have named former Norwich manager Peter Grant as the club's new first-team coach.

Grant, 42, will be reunited with Mowbray, his former Celtic team-mate.

He is a former assistant manager of West Ham, and Mowbray told www.wbafc.co.uk: 'You'd be amazed at the amount of good football people out of work.

'I did have one or two conversations with other people but Peter's enthusiasm and his Premier League experience was pretty crucial when it came to making a final decision.'