Premier League

Mowbray offers Simpson hope

West Brom boss will continue selecting striker

Simpson: Still part of Mowbray's plans

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Tony Mowbray has vowed to keep using Jay Simpson despite the striker's declaration that he wants to return to Arsenal at the end of the season.

Simpson joined West Brom on loan in the winter transfer window and he will remain with the club for the duration of their relegation fight.

Mowbray held talks with the Gunners last month about extending Simpson's loan for a second season, prompting the 20-year-old to say that he was hoping to go back to Emirates Stadium and compete for a place.

The Baggies boss insists he has no problem with Simpson and will continue to select him for the final six games of the season.

"Does it (wanting to go back to Arsenal) make it any more difficult for him? No. Like with any player who comes on loan, we're not the parent club," said Mowbray.

"You utilise and use loan players as best you can for your club and nothing has changed as far as I am concerned with Jay Simpson."

Lively

Simpson impressed during his first month with the Baggies but has struggled to make the same sort of impact since returning from a hamstring problem.

Mowbray added: "It's not just me who has seen the fact that he started very well and looked lively and then picked up an injury.

"I genuinely don't feel he has hit the heights of the first month or so of being with us.

"At this moment in time, because his form isn't where it was, he is not finding himself as a regular starter or playing 90 minutes.

"He is either starting and coming off or starting on the bench. But he will be judged by nothing other than performance levels.

"If he had been our main striker, looking like scoring every game, he would be playing every game.

"It's not a question of where Jay sees his future, it's a question of needs be at the moment."