Ward: We've got the squad to cope

Stephen Ward has confidence in the squad

Stephen Ward has confidence in the squad

First published in Sport by

Stephen Ward reckons Albion have the squad to push for the play-offs.

The experienced left-back admits he was disappointed to see players leave in January.

But he was pleased to see Dale Stephens and David Rodriguez arrive before the window shut.

He is also convinced some of the younger players can help see them through.

Ward said: “In the middle of December we ad a really strong squad.

“You roll the clocks on a month-and-a-half and we have lost Craig (Conway), Adam (El-Abd), Ash (Barnes), Liam (Bridcutt) now and Crofty (Andrew Crofts) to a really unfortunate injury.

“Maybe on paper we might look a little bit light but we’ve got quality in the squad, even the young lads coming through.

“I think one or two reinforcements will give us a lift.

“It will make sure we know that with any injuries, suspensions, tough periods coming up, we will have the squad to go on and compete.”

Ward, who has played in the top flight with Wolves, is confident Bridcutt will thrive with Sunderland.

He said: “It is a step up in class and he is going into a club where they are fighting for every point, which can make it that bit tougher.

“But he is a quality player he has proved in the last couple of years how good a player he is.

“I think he will be hungry to go up there and prove he is a Premier League player.

“People have been saying for years how good he is and now they can see him playing in the Premier League.

“It’s a big challenge for him but it is one I am sure he will take in his stride.

“He obviously knows the manager well and how he wants to play so that will make his transition a lot easier.”


 

Comments (10)

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10:14am Sat 1 Feb 14

russellsnr2 says...

We have I believe conceded the least number of goals away in the championship so happy that we have taken another striker even though only till the end of the season as this is where we seem to struggle at times in recent games, Once Leo pops another goal in I feel he will regain some confidence as he seems to be a little frustrated at the moment but we also now have IMO a better option up front with three strikers ready to go and another not far away in CMS.
We have I believe conceded the least number of goals away in the championship so happy that we have taken another striker even though only till the end of the season as this is where we seem to struggle at times in recent games, Once Leo pops another goal in I feel he will regain some confidence as he seems to be a little frustrated at the moment but we also now have IMO a better option up front with three strikers ready to go and another not far away in CMS. russellsnr2
  • Score: 4

10:31am Sat 1 Feb 14

To baldly go says...

I think we have got it right imo, no panic buys, no paying over the odds, no extortionate wages and a good solid squad that has been strengthened just enough by Stevens and Spanish Dave mk2. We have a couple of players due back shortly in Cms and Hoskins, and will start scoring more and move up the table again, we have 2 quality players in each position and a good amount of them can also change positions if required so I am satisfied we have it right.
Players that have turned us down have done so purely because of greed imo, any player would love to play in front of a full house in a state of the art stadium and training ground with promotion to the premier league just around the corner, but when offered say £5-10k a week over 18 months or £10-15k a week for 2-3 years, money talks and these players have chose what's best for them money wise, who among us wouldn't go for the money.
Imo, the second half of our season kicks off tomorrow at Watford, followed by a run of games at home including a very winnable game against Hull in the cup, and who knows who we could get in the next round, Wembley is a very big possibility this season and if it all goes our way 3 visits are possible!
Let other clubs spend spend spend, when it goes t*** up it will show we got it right. The future is bright and it's BLUE and WHITE! UTA
I think we have got it right imo, no panic buys, no paying over the odds, no extortionate wages and a good solid squad that has been strengthened just enough by Stevens and Spanish Dave mk2. We have a couple of players due back shortly in Cms and Hoskins, and will start scoring more and move up the table again, we have 2 quality players in each position and a good amount of them can also change positions if required so I am satisfied we have it right. Players that have turned us down have done so purely because of greed imo, any player would love to play in front of a full house in a state of the art stadium and training ground with promotion to the premier league just around the corner, but when offered say £5-10k a week over 18 months or £10-15k a week for 2-3 years, money talks and these players have chose what's best for them money wise, who among us wouldn't go for the money. Imo, the second half of our season kicks off tomorrow at Watford, followed by a run of games at home including a very winnable game against Hull in the cup, and who knows who we could get in the next round, Wembley is a very big possibility this season and if it all goes our way 3 visits are possible! Let other clubs spend spend spend, when it goes t*** up it will show we got it right. The future is bright and it's BLUE and WHITE! UTA To baldly go
  • Score: 9

10:44am Sat 1 Feb 14

bbb1969 says...

The team for tomorrow as suggested in the argus:-
Kuz
ward upson greer
andrews
ince stephens
lopez ulloa orlandi

I would swap ince with andrewfor starters and place andrews on the bench.
Orlandi can drop alonside stephens then use Solly on the wing.

Kuz
ward upson greer bruno
ince
Ince orlandi
lopez ulloa march

woul swap march or loprz for rodrigues and
The team for tomorrow as suggested in the argus:- Kuz ward upson greer andrews ince stephens lopez ulloa orlandi I would swap ince with andrewfor starters and place andrews on the bench. Orlandi can drop alonside stephens then use Solly on the wing. Kuz ward upson greer bruno ince Ince orlandi lopez ulloa march woul swap march or loprz for rodrigues and bbb1969
  • Score: -3

11:00am Sat 1 Feb 14

To baldly go says...

bbb1969 wrote:
The team for tomorrow as suggested in the argus:-
Kuz
ward upson greer
andrews
ince stephens
lopez ulloa orlandi

I would swap ince with andrewfor starters and place andrews on the bench.
Orlandi can drop alonside stephens then use Solly on the wing.

Kuz
ward upson greer bruno
ince
Ince orlandi
lopez ulloa march

woul swap march or loprz for rodrigues and
If we can win with 10 players from the start I'll be over the moon!
[quote][p][bold]bbb1969[/bold] wrote: The team for tomorrow as suggested in the argus:- Kuz ward upson greer andrews ince stephens lopez ulloa orlandi I would swap ince with andrewfor starters and place andrews on the bench. Orlandi can drop alonside stephens then use Solly on the wing. Kuz ward upson greer bruno ince Ince orlandi lopez ulloa march woul swap march or loprz for rodrigues and[/p][/quote]If we can win with 10 players from the start I'll be over the moon! To baldly go
  • Score: 8

11:05am Sat 1 Feb 14

Baldseagull says...

Looks like Leeds have decided to take themselves out of the promotion race, so that will help.
Looks like Leeds have decided to take themselves out of the promotion race, so that will help. Baldseagull
  • Score: 4

11:07am Sat 1 Feb 14

To baldly go says...

bbb1969, only concern for me is Lopez, just not cutting it at the moment.
The back 5 pick themselves, think we all agree on that one, midfield has to be Ince, Andrews, Stevens and Orlandi, Ulloa up front with LuaLua.
Subs, Casper or Brez, Caldi, Dunk, Agustien, March, Obika and Spanish Dave mk2.
bbb1969, only concern for me is Lopez, just not cutting it at the moment. The back 5 pick themselves, think we all agree on that one, midfield has to be Ince, Andrews, Stevens and Orlandi, Ulloa up front with LuaLua. Subs, Casper or Brez, Caldi, Dunk, Agustien, March, Obika and Spanish Dave mk2. To baldly go
  • Score: 5

11:24am Sat 1 Feb 14

SMF20 says...

---------------Kuz--
-------------

Bruno, Greer, Upson, Ward

---------------Ince-
--------------

Orlandi, Stephens, Agustien, Lua Lua

---------------Ulloa
---------------
---------------Kuz-- ------------- Bruno, Greer, Upson, Ward ---------------Ince- -------------- Orlandi, Stephens, Agustien, Lua Lua ---------------Ulloa --------------- SMF20
  • Score: 2

11:27am Sat 1 Feb 14

ballantrrae says...

Interested to see that Ward thinks we have the squad to push for a play-off position. It's a key month coming up and it will be instructive to see if the results support his view.
I woke up this morning feeling slightly underwhelmed at our transfer window activity - rather more players out than coming in especially when you take Crofts's injury into account.
My feeling of flatness is no doubt due in part to the fact that Bridcutt seems to have left for a fee below what I think most of us posters expected. I notice that even the Argus is now reporting it as £2.5 million (perhaps there may be £500,000 add-ons as mentioned on Radio Sussex yesterday - they quoted a fee of £3.25m).
I hope the club will use the Loan window when it re-opens as I still believe we need to strengthen the squad. Judging from the 'Only one in' thread report it looks as if Oscar is of the same opinion. With the money received from the Bridcutt deal we should have sufficient resource to bring a couple of players in on loan without running any FFP risk
Looking to the long term I envisage quite a bit of incoming traffic in the Summer.
Firstly we need to secure Kuszczak, Upson and Ward. We will need another CB as Greer and Upson aren't getting younger and a young RB for the same reason re Calde and Bruno. Add a midfielder and at least one striker (Obika's Loan ends in April) and possibly a winger if Buckley goes and you can see the potential for significant change.
Any activity in the Loan window could be a first step towards any such restructuring of the squad. UTA.
Interested to see that Ward thinks we have the squad to push for a play-off position. It's a key month coming up and it will be instructive to see if the results support his view. I woke up this morning feeling slightly underwhelmed at our transfer window activity - rather more players out than coming in especially when you take Crofts's injury into account. My feeling of flatness is no doubt due in part to the fact that Bridcutt seems to have left for a fee below what I think most of us posters expected. I notice that even the Argus is now reporting it as £2.5 million (perhaps there may be £500,000 add-ons as mentioned on Radio Sussex yesterday - they quoted a fee of £3.25m). I hope the club will use the Loan window when it re-opens as I still believe we need to strengthen the squad. Judging from the 'Only one in' thread report it looks as if Oscar is of the same opinion. With the money received from the Bridcutt deal we should have sufficient resource to bring a couple of players in on loan without running any FFP risk Looking to the long term I envisage quite a bit of incoming traffic in the Summer. Firstly we need to secure Kuszczak, Upson and Ward. We will need another CB as Greer and Upson aren't getting younger and a young RB for the same reason re Calde and Bruno. Add a midfielder and at least one striker (Obika's Loan ends in April) and possibly a winger if Buckley goes and you can see the potential for significant change. Any activity in the Loan window could be a first step towards any such restructuring of the squad. UTA. ballantrrae
  • Score: 6

1:27pm Sat 1 Feb 14

To baldly go says...

ballantrrae wrote:
Interested to see that Ward thinks we have the squad to push for a play-off position. It's a key month coming up and it will be instructive to see if the results support his view.
I woke up this morning feeling slightly underwhelmed at our transfer window activity - rather more players out than coming in especially when you take Crofts's injury into account.
My feeling of flatness is no doubt due in part to the fact that Bridcutt seems to have left for a fee below what I think most of us posters expected. I notice that even the Argus is now reporting it as £2.5 million (perhaps there may be £500,000 add-ons as mentioned on Radio Sussex yesterday - they quoted a fee of £3.25m).
I hope the club will use the Loan window when it re-opens as I still believe we need to strengthen the squad. Judging from the 'Only one in' thread report it looks as if Oscar is of the same opinion. With the money received from the Bridcutt deal we should have sufficient resource to bring a couple of players in on loan without running any FFP risk
Looking to the long term I envisage quite a bit of incoming traffic in the Summer.
Firstly we need to secure Kuszczak, Upson and Ward. We will need another CB as Greer and Upson aren't getting younger and a young RB for the same reason re Calde and Bruno. Add a midfielder and at least one striker (Obika's Loan ends in April) and possibly a winger if Buckley goes and you can see the potential for significant change.
Any activity in the Loan window could be a first step towards any such restructuring of the squad. UTA.
If we are still in the championship and can keep the nucleus of this side, 2 or 3 quality additions is all that will be required for a concerted push for an auto spot, without this years injuries we would be right up there at the moment imo.
The older players will do us for another term in this league but if we get promotion this season, big changes ahead.
[quote][p][bold]ballantrrae[/bold] wrote: Interested to see that Ward thinks we have the squad to push for a play-off position. It's a key month coming up and it will be instructive to see if the results support his view. I woke up this morning feeling slightly underwhelmed at our transfer window activity - rather more players out than coming in especially when you take Crofts's injury into account. My feeling of flatness is no doubt due in part to the fact that Bridcutt seems to have left for a fee below what I think most of us posters expected. I notice that even the Argus is now reporting it as £2.5 million (perhaps there may be £500,000 add-ons as mentioned on Radio Sussex yesterday - they quoted a fee of £3.25m). I hope the club will use the Loan window when it re-opens as I still believe we need to strengthen the squad. Judging from the 'Only one in' thread report it looks as if Oscar is of the same opinion. With the money received from the Bridcutt deal we should have sufficient resource to bring a couple of players in on loan without running any FFP risk Looking to the long term I envisage quite a bit of incoming traffic in the Summer. Firstly we need to secure Kuszczak, Upson and Ward. We will need another CB as Greer and Upson aren't getting younger and a young RB for the same reason re Calde and Bruno. Add a midfielder and at least one striker (Obika's Loan ends in April) and possibly a winger if Buckley goes and you can see the potential for significant change. Any activity in the Loan window could be a first step towards any such restructuring of the squad. UTA.[/p][/quote]If we are still in the championship and can keep the nucleus of this side, 2 or 3 quality additions is all that will be required for a concerted push for an auto spot, without this years injuries we would be right up there at the moment imo. The older players will do us for another term in this league but if we get promotion this season, big changes ahead. To baldly go
  • Score: 3

4:41pm Sat 1 Feb 14

SMF20 says...

To baldly go wrote:
ballantrrae wrote:
Interested to see that Ward thinks we have the squad to push for a play-off position. It's a key month coming up and it will be instructive to see if the results support his view.
I woke up this morning feeling slightly underwhelmed at our transfer window activity - rather more players out than coming in especially when you take Crofts's injury into account.
My feeling of flatness is no doubt due in part to the fact that Bridcutt seems to have left for a fee below what I think most of us posters expected. I notice that even the Argus is now reporting it as £2.5 million (perhaps there may be £500,000 add-ons as mentioned on Radio Sussex yesterday - they quoted a fee of £3.25m).
I hope the club will use the Loan window when it re-opens as I still believe we need to strengthen the squad. Judging from the 'Only one in' thread report it looks as if Oscar is of the same opinion. With the money received from the Bridcutt deal we should have sufficient resource to bring a couple of players in on loan without running any FFP risk
Looking to the long term I envisage quite a bit of incoming traffic in the Summer.
Firstly we need to secure Kuszczak, Upson and Ward. We will need another CB as Greer and Upson aren't getting younger and a young RB for the same reason re Calde and Bruno. Add a midfielder and at least one striker (Obika's Loan ends in April) and possibly a winger if Buckley goes and you can see the potential for significant change.
Any activity in the Loan window could be a first step towards any such restructuring of the squad. UTA.
If we are still in the championship and can keep the nucleus of this side, 2 or 3 quality additions is all that will be required for a concerted push for an auto spot, without this years injuries we would be right up there at the moment imo.
The older players will do us for another term in this league but if we get promotion this season, big changes ahead.
I nearly agree TBG....

What I mean by that is that everything you say is what I believe too... The diference for me is that we should have got those 2 or 3 in now.
With the games in hand we would only be 10 points behind and that for me and imho only in not insurmountable.
It would also secure us Kuz and Upson again as they would have seen some ambition from the club
Had we have got promoted it wouldn't change anything as Both would still need to be retained even if they ended up as cover.

I like you thought we were good enough for a push this year but also agree that the injuries have hit us hard.

Great post with just a difference in opinions re timings
[quote][p][bold]To baldly go[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]ballantrrae[/bold] wrote: Interested to see that Ward thinks we have the squad to push for a play-off position. It's a key month coming up and it will be instructive to see if the results support his view. I woke up this morning feeling slightly underwhelmed at our transfer window activity - rather more players out than coming in especially when you take Crofts's injury into account. My feeling of flatness is no doubt due in part to the fact that Bridcutt seems to have left for a fee below what I think most of us posters expected. I notice that even the Argus is now reporting it as £2.5 million (perhaps there may be £500,000 add-ons as mentioned on Radio Sussex yesterday - they quoted a fee of £3.25m). I hope the club will use the Loan window when it re-opens as I still believe we need to strengthen the squad. Judging from the 'Only one in' thread report it looks as if Oscar is of the same opinion. With the money received from the Bridcutt deal we should have sufficient resource to bring a couple of players in on loan without running any FFP risk Looking to the long term I envisage quite a bit of incoming traffic in the Summer. Firstly we need to secure Kuszczak, Upson and Ward. We will need another CB as Greer and Upson aren't getting younger and a young RB for the same reason re Calde and Bruno. Add a midfielder and at least one striker (Obika's Loan ends in April) and possibly a winger if Buckley goes and you can see the potential for significant change. Any activity in the Loan window could be a first step towards any such restructuring of the squad. UTA.[/p][/quote]If we are still in the championship and can keep the nucleus of this side, 2 or 3 quality additions is all that will be required for a concerted push for an auto spot, without this years injuries we would be right up there at the moment imo. The older players will do us for another term in this league but if we get promotion this season, big changes ahead.[/p][/quote]I nearly agree TBG.... What I mean by that is that everything you say is what I believe too... The diference for me is that we should have got those 2 or 3 in now. With the games in hand we would only be 10 points behind and that for me and imho only in not insurmountable. It would also secure us Kuz and Upson again as they would have seen some ambition from the club Had we have got promoted it wouldn't change anything as Both would still need to be retained even if they ended up as cover. I like you thought we were good enough for a push this year but also agree that the injuries have hit us hard. Great post with just a difference in opinions re timings SMF20
  • Score: 2

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