'Wow' - Exclusive: Bruce in awe of West Brom player who's really surprised him
Alex Bruce admits he has been left in awe of West Brom midfielder Gareth Barry after watching him in the FA Cup defeat to Newcastle United.
The former Hull City defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, says the 39-year-old has shown incredible strength to keep playing for as long as he has done.
Slaven Bilic started Barry alongside fellow veteran Chris Brunt in Tuesday’s clash at the Hawthorns, with the Baggies suffering a 3-2 defeat to Steve Bruce’s men.
However, Alex was left raving over the former Aston Villa and Manchester City man, admitting he did not expect him to continue playing for so long.
Asked if he was surprised Barry was still playing, Bruce told Football Insider: “Absolutely. He’s been a fabulous player, he’s been a role model for everybody to look up to with the amount of games that he’s played.
“To still be going at 39 tells you the character of the man. He’s had tough times, to still be going at 39-years-of-age, to show the mentality and the strength that he’s got is phenomenal.
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“I take my hat off to him and when I saw him still turning out the other night, I thought: ‘Wow, what a man.'”
Barry, who holds the record for the most Premier League games played, signed a new deal at West Brom back in November, his old terms having expired last summer.
He has a total of six appearances under his belt this season, three of those coming in the Championship.
In other West Brom news, Bruce has been left head over heels for another of Bilic’s star men.