By Noel Whelan

30th Nov, 2019 | 12:36pm

Exclusive: Pundit suggests big-name West Brom star struggling to impress in training

Noel Whelan suggests that West Brom striker Charlie Austin is not doing enough in training to earn him a place among the starting XI under Slaven Bilic.

The former Leeds United striker and Championship expert, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says that the 30-year-old might be in a good run of form on a matchday but there is clearly something stopping him starting for the Baggies.

Austin has scored twice in as many games after coming off the substitutes’ bench, Hal Robson-Kanu Bilic’s preferred option to lead the line at the Hawthorns.

Whelan says Bilic is clearly not convinced by Austin’s performances on the training ground and that he will need to see more to take his counterpart’s place up front.

“It’s not just about the matchday, you’ve got to look throughout the week,” Whelan told Football Insider.

“There’s something that Slaven Bilic is seeing in training as well, all the way through, that is keeping Charlie Austin on the bench.

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“It’s now down to him to change that and to fight. That’s the good thing about football. It brings the best out in the players, without these sort of rivalries and people close on each other’s heels, you don’t get these performances from these sort of players.” 

Austin has scored three goals in 13 Championship appearances for the Baggies since moving to the Hawthorns over the summer, with another strike coming in the League Cup.

After starting 10 of the club’s opening 15 league games, he has seen just 22 minutes of action over the last three matches.

In other West Brom news, Robinson says one senior star has been “worth his weight in gold” to Bilic.