Wolves, not Villa, is the big one for West Brom, says Steven Reid
Dec 17 2010 By Chris Lepkowski
Who is Albion’s biggest rival: Villa or Wolves? The general consensus is that Villa are the traditional rivals. They are also the nearest club geographically.
But Albion and Villa slipped apart during the late 1980s – the latter maintain their rivalry with Blues, while the Baggies fell into the same division as Wolves, whose early 1990s resurgence was led by Steve Bull, who had started his career at the Hawthorns.
The Wolves legend never misses a trick to taunt his former club, further stoking tensions. But Steven Reid believes the visit of McCarthy’s men is the bigger deal.
The Albion utility man has been left in no doubt which of the two games was always going to be bigger for Baggies fans. And it’s not Villa.
Reid, by no means assured of a place in Roberto Di Matteo’s side this Sunday, cannot wait for the big midday kick-off.
He has fond memories of his time with Blackburn when they met arch-enemies Burnley in the Cup some five years ago.
After drawing 0-0 in the first game at Turf Moor, Rovers went onto win the replay 2-1 – with Reid coming on as a substitute in both.
He cannot wait to get his teeth into his first-ever Black Country derby.
“All I’m hearing about is the Wolves game – it’ll be similar to the Blackburn v Burnley game I suppose,” added Reid, who played 135 times for Rovers.
“It seems this is the big one and I’m looking forward to it.
“I hope to be part of it, but we’ll see. It’s a massive game for us. It’s one of those derbies that gets little attention outside the area but is huge here. I’ve played in derbies before and I can’t wait for Sunday. It should be a great day – let’s hope we put on a good performance for the fans.”
And for the ex-Republic of Ireland man the game holds extra significance as he comes up against two faces from his past – Mick McCarthy and Steven Reid.
Mick McCarthy left Millwall just before Reid signed professional terms for the south Londoners. But the Wolves boss and Albion man were finally together with their respective spells with the Republic of Ireland.
Wolves beat Blues last week to put some daylight between themselves and bottom club West Ham.
Yet McCarthy has been subjected to criticism on the Internet, on social media forums and on radio phone-ins.
Reid has been shocked by the level of stick dished out to his former boss.