By Gabriel Agbonlahor

24th Dec, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Agbonlahor drops West Brom star 'Behind Closed Doors' claim

Gabriel Agbonlahor has backed West Brom captain Jake Livermore to retain the captaincy despite being sent off in Sunday’s Midlands derby.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the legendary former Aston Villa striker insisted the 29-year-old will work twice as hard for the team when he returns from his suspension.

Livermore was initially given a yellow card by referee Martin Atkinson after he lunged in on Villa captain Jack Grealish but it was upgraded to red after a VAR review.

Baggies boss Sam Allardyce hinted after the game he could take the drastic action to strip the midfielder of the captaincy if his replacement proves they are “good enough”.

Asked by Football Insider for his take on the horror challenge, Agbonlahor said: “I think it was a red card.

“I’m sure if you asked Jake Livermore behind closed doors he’ll tell you he went to do him.

Subscribe to Football Insider TV now

“He’s hit Jack and got the ball afterwards but there was no reason to make that challenge. To make that challenge like he did it just looked he was going to do his opponent.

“It was definitely a red card and even Sam Allardyce said it was a red card so there’s nothing to argue about.

“He’s not done anything like punched a player on the pitch so I don’t think he should be stripped of the captaincy.

“I like Jake Livermore, I think he’s a great player and I think he’ll be sorry for what he’s done.

“He’s the sort of player that when he comes back from suspension, he’ll put in double effort and make up for what he’s done.

“Sam Allardyce will sit down with him and say ‘you owe the team when you come back from suspension, we need you to make it up to the team.’

In other news, a top pundit has claimed there’s a “huge problem” at West Brom and dropped a “massive” claim about the club.