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West Brom's Kyle Bartley targeting immediate return to Premier League

West Brom's Kyle Bartley targeting immediate return to Premier League
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Sam Allardyce has suffered his first-ever Premier League relegation.

West Brom captain Kyle Bartley is already aiming for an immediate return to the Premier League after relegation was confirmed following defeat at Arsenal on Sunday.

The Baggies lost 3-1 in north London as goals from Emile Smith Rowe, Nicolas Pepe and Willian sealed their fate, with Matheus Pereira scoring a fine consolation for the visitors.

The result means boss Sam Allardyce has suffered his first-ever Premier League relegation, with West Brom the eighth side he has managed in the division.

While Allardyce's future remains unclear, Bartley has set his sights on leading the club back into the top-flight at the first time of asking.

"I'm really proud of the way everyone kept going and that's all you can ask for," he told West Brom's official website.

"It's a great honour to lead this team out and our focus now is to go out fighting because the fans will be back soon, and we want to put on a show to get them excited for next season.

"Hopefully when we come back in pre-season, we'll be ready to mount a charge to come straight back up again."

Bartley, who previously captained Arsenal's reserve side before leaving after just one first-team appearance, is also keen to end the current campaign well.

They host top-four chasing Liverpool on Sunday before welcoming fans back to the Hawthorns for the visit of West Ham and a final-day trip to Leeds.

"I'm here to keep the boys going," added Bartley.

"I make sure none of these boys quit and I'm sure they'll continue to show that until the end of the season.

"We kept believing right until the end. Now's the time to dust ourselves down, focus on these next three games and try to build our confidence going into next year.

"We need to get over this now to get as much momentum going into next year so we can get straight back up."

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West Bromwich Albion manager Sam Allardyce pictured on March 4, 2021
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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

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