By Kevin Phillips

24th Jan, 2020 | 4:00pm

Exclusive: Phillips suggests Bilic may have lost faith in West Brom players after transfer claim

Kevin Phillips says that West Brom manager Slaven Bilic may have lost faith in some of his players after his comments on potential new signings.

The former Baggies and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the Serbian’s statement on recruitment suggests there are some members of his squad he cannot rely on.

Bilic was quoted as saying that the Baggies “need signings” before the end of the January transfer window and that the club are working on deals behind the scenes.

Phillips says that despite sitting top of the league, the manager’s statement suggests some players are not living up to expectation and that some new arrivals could be the catalyst for an upturn in form.

Asked if Bilic’s admission meant that he had lost faith in some players, Phillips told Football Insider: “Well, I would have thought so.

“When you’re challenging at the top of the league, you want a strong, solid squad and you have to accept that there are going to be a few knocks along the way, there’s been a lot of games over Christmas.

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“To get out of this league you need a big squad and if Slaven feels another couple of signings could really bolster the squad, two or three would bolster the squad.

“What it also does is push the other players, keeps you on your toes, keeps you wanting to perform so you don’t come out the side and gives you that ability to challenge each other.”

Following Monday night’s defeat to Stoke City, the Baggies have now gone six games without a win, leaving them one point ahead of second-placed Leeds.

In other West Brom news, it can be REVEALED that Rangers have opened talks over signing a Hawthorns starlet.