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Chris Brunt: I'm delighted to help West Brom back to Premier League but I don't want my career to end here

 

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West Brom captain Chris Brunt celebrates sealing promotion in his final game for the club.

West Brom captain Chris Brunt celebrates sealing promotion in his final game for the club.

PA

West Brom captain Chris Brunt celebrates sealing promotion in his final game for the club.

Chris Brunt is delighted to have helped West Brom back to the Premier League in his last appearance for the club but he's determined to make sure his career doesn't end now.

The Belfast man's 13 year stay at the Hawthorns came to an end in the best way on Wednesday evening as he led his side over the line on a nerve-jangling evening.

As West Brom drew 2-2 at home to QPR, a win for Brentford would have been enough to deny the Baggies automatic promotion and it was only when Barnsley took an injury-time lead at Griffin Park that WBA could truly believe.

Brunt had already been on the pitch for 20 minutes by then, boss Slaven Bilic turning to his captain's experience to help his side over the line.

It was only the 35-year-old's sixth league appearance of the season, all coming off the bench, and as his game-time reduced, it came as little surprise when it was announced last month that his expiring contract would not be renewed.

Rather than focus on his own emotional departure, Brunt was just glad to have got the job done at full-time.

"After the disappointment of last year, it was important for the club to make sure we bounce back and get back where we deserve," he told Sky Sports.

"I haven't played as much football as I would have liked this year and it's been difficult at times but ultimately the goal was always to end up back in the Premier League and I'm glad I've been a part of that.

"I always said I would try and keep myself in the best shape I could and be ready if the gaffer needed me. He's brought me on a couple of times over the past few weeks. It's always great to get out there. I know I'm not getting any younger but I always want to get out there and do the best I can and if that means helping the team get results then that's great.

"I was a bit nervy towards the end but we just about clawed ourselves over the line.

"It's rubbish without fans in the stadium, especially when you achieve something like this. They should definitely be here celebrating with us."

Brunt, who retired from international duty two years ago, is now hoping that he will find a new home to see out the closing years of his playing career.

"Hopefully something will crop up somewhere," he mused.

"With all the coronavirus stuff going on, I don't think teams are too sure what's going to happen next year. I feel good physically. It's difficult when you get to my age, recovering week-in, week-out. I haven't had to do that a lot this season but I want to play on. I've enjoyed the bits and pieces I've had to do this season and I still feel I've got a year or two in me yet."

Belfast Telegraph