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West Brom: Gardner-Hickman proved his worth to Bruce against Hull

West Bromwich Albion have finally secured their first win in eight games, with Steve Bruce collecting his first victory in charge of the Baggies, which will surely be a huge relief for him, the club’s fans and players after suffering three consecutive losses.

Albion comfortably bagged a 2-0 victory over their opponents despite having less possession of the ball (45%) and half as many shots compared to Hull City.

Karlan Grant, the Baggies’ top scorer this season, opened the scoring in the 17th minute at the MKM Stadium, before netting again early into the second half, converting a penalty to put his team 2-0 in front.

Although the striker will likely steal the headlines, there was one player who made an appearance in the starting line-up for the first time since January, and it seems no coincidence that his presence in the side had an effect on the positive result for West Brom today.

Gardner-Hickman proved his worth to Bruce

Taylor Gardner-Hickman had struggled to get a look in since Valerien Ismael was sacked in early February, only given 10 minutes of game-time in the draw against Blackburn Rovers in Bruce’s second game in charge. However, the Albion manager gave the youngster a proper opportunity to shine today and it’s a decision he won’t be regretting.

As per SofaScore, the 20-year-old – who was hailed as “fearless” by his former coach Ismael, got fully stuck into his midfield role today against Hull. He has 51 touches, won 50% of his ground duels, completed 86% of his passes and won the foul which gave West Brom the penalty to double their lead.

That performance drew praise from his manager after the match, while Joseph Masi’s match report for the Express & Star claimed that the midfielder was ‘particularly impressive’ today.

Can West Brom get into the play-offs?

Yes

Yes

No

No

When you look at how he imposed himself on the game against Hull, both offensively and defensively, it is something Bruce must not ignore as he seeks to climb the Championship table with West Brom over the remainder of the season.

Recognising the work ethic and presence that Gardner-Hickman offers in the team and unlocking the youngster’s clear potential could give the Baggies a strong chance of gaining a play-off position, and potential promotion back to the Premier League for next season.

In other news: Joseph Masi drops worrying West Brom contract claim

Article title: West Brom: Gardner-Hickman proved his worth to Bruce against Hull

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