Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Poyet wants an end to CMS rumours
Albion boss Gus Poyet has played down speculation about Craig Mackail-Smith’s future and told admirers of the striker to put up or shut up.
Rumours have surrounded Mackail-Smith all summer, with Poyet’s former club Leeds strongly linked.
The ex-Peterborough marksman has recovered from a lower back injury for today’s first Championship fixture at Hull and Poyet has dismissed the transfer talk as hot air rather than interest backed up by a bid.
He told The Argus: “The problem is Macca is a player that everyone would like to have but he’s not an easy one to buy. There are going to be rumours and phone calls and searching but at the end of the day the clubs need to make a big investment.
“Until they put a bid in and agree or don’t agree it doesn’t matter really.
“We’ve had plenty of things about plenty of players but when it is a bid the players know. It’s a situation that we need to deal with and we decide as a club to always tell the players.
“But when it is just a phone call no. If we tell the players about every phone call we get it’s going to be a nightmare for them, so we are really only interested when there is actually something to talk about.”
Poyet does not expect the speculation to unsettle Mackail-Smith and has reiterated his confidence in his £2.5 million buy improving on his ten-goal tally in his debut season with the club.
“Macca is not the type of person who is going to come and talk to you weekly,” Poyet said. “He always trains the same way, working and running, wanting his shooting sessions. He hasn’t changed at all.
“The only thing is that he has been out in the last few weeks, so maybe then you cannot see if it has affected him or not.
“The good thing now is he knows he is here. He needs to perform and score goals and go from there. He scored a good number of goals last year and gave us a massive hand.
“I’ve said it before and I’ve told him and his agent, I’ve told everyone, I’m sure he is going to score more this year because it’s going to be easier for him. He just needs to play his game, nothing else.”