West Brom boss Alan Pardew will continue to pick Jay Rodriguez and reiterated the club’s support after the striker was charged with using racist language.
The forward has said he is “in disbelief” after the Football Association charged him over his clash with Brighton’s Gaetan Bong.
“I’ve got no problem picking him,” said Pardew, ahead of Monday’s trip to Chelsea.
“It’s a situation which is not ideal for Jay. It’s an accusation he denies and as a club we’re going to support him.
“It’s a process which needs to be seen through and our comments can affect it so the less we say the better.
“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. At the moment he’s angry but he’s OK.
“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 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 going into business.
“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. He has been consistent from the moment he has stepped off the pitch. I’ve got no problem picking him.”