MX23RW : Sunday, December 16 11:49:41

Alan Pardew happy to continue picking Jay Rodriguez

Pardew happy to continue picking Rodriguez
© SilverHub
Alan Pardew acknowledges that the charge of racial abuse hanging over Jay Rodriguez is 'not ideal', but will continue to pick the West Bromwich Albion striker for now.

West Bromwich Albion manager Alan Pardew has insisted that he has "got no problem picking" Jay Rodriguez, despite being charged by the Football Association for alleged racial abuse.

The 28-year-old is accused of using insulting words towards Gaetan Bong during last month's league clash with Brighton & Hove Albion - a charge he has strongly refuted.

Rodriguez has vowed to take the matter to court if required to prove his innocence, but in the meantime the England World Cup hopeful will continue to make himself available for selection.

Ahead of Monday night's trip to Chelsea, Pardew made clear that he has no qualms about fielding Rodriguez at the current time, but acknowledges that it is "not an ideal situation" at a key point in the season.

"I've got no problem picking him, it's obviously not a situation which is ideal for Jay," he told reporters. "It's an accusation that he denies and as a club we are going to support him through that process.

"That is what it is at the moment. It's a process that needs to be seen through and therefore our comments on it can affect it to some degree. The less we say the better. Jay is obviously upset about it. He has a good mental capacity to deal with things and hopefully he can concentrate on his football when he is here and not worry too much about the situation - although it is a worry.

"Hopefully he can deal with it. At the moment he is angry but OK. We are in that kind of world at the moment where everybody has to be so careful and even now talking about it I am nervous - everybody is. It is not an ideal situation and until such time as the process is seen through for both players can we get to the bottom.

"I spoke to the PFA this moment, I tried to contact Kick It Out this morning but I have had no reply. We all need to make sure that for the two players that we understand the seriousness of the situation. It is not just about us losing Jay for five games - it is a little bit more serious than that and his future after the game.

"Whether he wants to be a coach or a manager or he wants to go into business. This is a serious accusation so he wants to defend it and that's all I really want to say on it."

Rodriguez has scored three goals in his last four games for West Brom, who are bottom of the Premier League and four points from safety.


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Jay Rodriguez in action for West Bromwich Albion during his side's Premier League clash with Arsenal
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