Slaven Bilic: Ahmed Hegazi omitted following training-ground incident

Slaven Bilic revealed West Brom defender Ahmed Hegazi was excluded from the squad because of a training ground incident – as he admitted his team had a lucky escape in their 1-1 draw against Brentford.

Darnell Furlong salvaged a point in first-half time added on for the Baggies after Henrik Dalsgaard gave dominant Brentford a deserved lead two minutes earlier.

Hegazi, 28, has been linked with a £3.4m move to Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad and Bilic confirmed the Egypt international defender was withdrawn from duty.

“Something happened yesterday on the training ground,” said head coach Bilic. “It was nothing major that I’m going to discuss or share with the media.

“It was little things but big enough for him not to be in the squad today.”

Hegazi has made just three appearances for West Brom this season after an ankle injury and is understood to be frustrated at his lack of action.

The draw left West Brom three points clear at Christmas on 50 points at the halfway stage and 13 matches unbeaten in the Championship.

Both managers said Brentford could have had a penalty at 1-0 after Albion defender Kyle Bartley appeared to handle in his own penalty area.

“It was difficult for the referee to see. I’ve seen them given,” said Bilic.

“I saw the handball, I think he slipped a bit, but the hand was in a natural position.

“If I was him (Brentford manager) I would say the same. He looks like an honest man.

“But I didn’t want to open it…the referee was good but all the 50-50s went to them.”

Brentford manager Thomas Frank said: “That was a clear penalty and as it was on the side of the linesman, I simply don’t know why he didn’t see it.

“That was at a crucial time, because if we get the penalty and lead 2-0, I’m not saying it would have been ‘game over’ but it’s better than them going down and equalising.

“I almost never complain about referees because I know it’s difficult – they’re human and they make mistakes, but we didn’t have that decision we should have had.”

Brentford captain Dalsgaard rewarded their pressure when he headed the visitors ahead from Mathias Jensen’s corner.

But in a near carbon copy, Furlong nodded Albion level from Matt Phillips’s flag kick.

“It was a little bit a game of two halves. They started a little better, they are a good team a good team in form,” said Bilic.

“We couldn’t put a stamp on the game at home like we normally do.

“From my point of view we had the best chance of the first half with Kyle Edwards one on one with the keeper. It was a fair result.

“In the second half it was good from us, we put our stamp on it. The only thing missing was a second goal, but we ran out of time.”

Frank felt Brentford should have won, adding: “I’m not happy with a point, definitely not.

“I’m pretty sure there has not been a team that good in the first half here this season.

“They didn’t have a shot until their goal more or less, we dominated, we created a goal and should have got more, and there was a quite decisive situation (handball) in the game.

“If you want to win at the big away grounds such as the league leaders, you need that bit of margin.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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