Albion manager Tony Mowbray is optimistic of extending Reading defender Sam Sodje’s loan spell at the Hawthorns but is refusing to be drawn on whether he will attempt to make the move permanent in the summer.
Sodje’s initial month with the Baggies ends after tonight’s home Championship clash with in-form Sheffield Wednesday. But, with skipper Curtis Davies only just beginning rehabilitation work after breaking a metatarsal, Mowbray is keen for Sodje to stay right through to the play-offs if Albion fail to secure automatic promotion.
He said: "We’ve had conversations with Reading and with Sam and I am not anticipating any problems. I am pretty optimistic on that one. You want to try and do the deal through to the end of May which will cover all bases for everybody. Reading have given no indication they will block it.
"Will the move become more permanent? I don’t need to make those decisions yet. I can think about it but don’t need to make any decisions yet. We’ve got plenty of good centre-halves at our football club.
"When Neil Clement and Curtis Davies picked up injuries there was a need to bring someone in. When Clem and Davies are fit, we can make a decision on how many centre-halves we need."
Goalkeeper Dean Kiely has been impressed with the contribution made so far by Sodje as West Brom look to make a late bid to climb into the top two.
He said: "As a defender, you need to be resilient, tough and hard to break down, and Sam falls into that category. It is not a dirty word to say he likes the physical element of the game.
"He wants to go and head the ball, he wants to make tackles and blocks and, as a keeper, that is great to play behind."
Mowbray knows Albion need a flying finish to the campaign if they are to have any chance of avoiding a play-off spot.
He said: "We’ve got to win four games. It is within our capabilities. Maybe the inconsistencies of the last couple of months would suggest we might not win four games but that’s got to be our target."