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Oscar on the hunt after Bruno injury blow
Albion head coach Oscar Garcia says the search for a full-back is proving difficult as he tries to deal with a defensive crisis caused by another injury to Bruno.
The Spanish right-back is out for several weeks with a hamstring problem sustained in the closing stages of Saturday’s last-gasp opening Championship defeat at Leeds United.
Oscar was already in the market for a senior left-back replacement for Wayne Bridge, who joined Reading at the start of June, three weeks before the Spaniard was appointed.
Oscar told The Argus: “We don’t have many players that can play in a full-back position. We are looking for someone to join and this injury for Bruno is another problem in this position.
“It’s not easy to find the correct player to join the team and also to improve the team. It’s not easy but we are working on it.”
Bruno, sidelined for most of pre-season by a calf injury, was hurt near the end at Elland Road when Oscar had already used all three substitutes.
The former Valencia stalwart was inhibited when Luke Murphy broke into the box to score Leeds’ controversial late winner.
Oscar said: “We were waiting for him but he told us he could finish the game because he felt good. But as everybody could see in the last two minutes he was injured and it’s disappointing that he cannot play for a few weeks. It’s a new injury, hamstring and slight abductor.”
Adam Chicksen, regarded more as left-back cover than first choice after his move from MK Dons last month, is still sidelined by the ankle injury which ruled him out of the squad at Elland Road so Latvian Vitalijs Maksimenko is in contention for his debut against Newport County in the Capital One Cup at The Amex tonight.
Albion have other injury worries for the first round tie against the League Two newcomers, including the ongoing nursing of Liam Bridcutt (groin).
Oscar has played down criticism of his appointment by his opposite number Justin Edinburgh. The former Spurs defender claimed an English manager would do a better job for Albion.
“Everybody has his opinion,” Oscar said. “I respect all opinions. They will come here with confidence. They have scored many goals in recent games and they will try everything to win but we have to play with the same mentality.”
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