Alan Pardew says Jay Rodriguez will fight to protect his reputation

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West Brom boss Alan Pardew will continue to pick Jay Rodriguez but insists the striker is angry about being charged by the Football Association.

Rodriguez was accused of using racist language following a clash with Brighton’s Gaetan Bong, an allegation Pardew fears could follow the one-cap England player for the rest of his career.

Bong accused the 28-year-old during Albion’s 2-0 Premier League win last month and Rodriguez was charged by the Football Association on Thursday. He has until next Friday to respond.

Albion go to Chelsea in the Premier League on Monday with Rodriguez set to feature despite the controversy.

Pardew said: “I’ve got no problem picking him. At the moment he’s angry but he’s OK.

“It’s a situation which is not ideal for Jay. It’s an accusation he denies and we’re going to support him. It’s not just about us losing Jay for five games, it’s a bit more serious than that, his future after the game – whether he wants to be a coach or go into business.

“Jay is upset about it, he has a good mental capacity to deal with things and hopefully he can concentrate on his football and not worry too much – although it is a worry.”

Rodriguez would face a minimum five-match ban if the case against him is proven.

West Bromwich Albion v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – The Hawthorns
West Brom’s Jay Rodriguez and Brighton’s Gaetan Bong (left) battle for the ball at The Hawthorns. (Nick Potts/PA)

Bong immediately complained to referee Martin Atkinson who included the incident in his report, and the defender told French television channel SFR Sport Rodriguez’s comment was “racist in nature”.

Pardew said: “We’re in that world where everyone has to be so careful and talking about it I’m nervous. I spoke to the PFA this morning and tried to speak to Kick It Out.

“We need to make sure for the two guys we understand the seriousness of the situation.

“It’s a serious accusation so he wants to defend it. He’s adamant to me and has been, he hasn’t changed his tune or his statement or anything.”

Kieran Gibbs, Jonny Evans and Grzegorz Krychowiak are all available for the Baggies’ trip to Stamford Bridge.

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