It was during his time with the Blues that the defender received his first call-up to the England squad and admits he would like to see his old side back in the Premier League.
“It’s special to go back to my old club where I spent four-and-a-half really happy years, I really enjoyed it. It was a good club with good support so I’m looking forward to going back.
“I remember that at the time I came in they were in a bit of a relegation scrap and had signed a couple of players. Christophe Dugarry was there and there was a real buzz around the club and I really enjoyed it.
“It’s disappointing because the attendances have fallen away a bit and I remember when I was there you couldn’t get a ticket to a game!
“I think they’ve had some off-the-pitch troubles in terms of ownership and some financial problems which have probably led to where the club is now.
“Hopefully it’ll bounce back, it’s a big football club, a good club and I hope it gets back the status it deserves.”
Despite recent troubles the Blues reached the 2011/12 play-offs and have started this season in good form, and the former England international knows it will take a big effort if Albion are to achieve their first win at St Andrew’s since 1989.
“They’ve had a really good start so I think they’ll come at us. It’s an away game in the Championship so it’ll be high tempo, high intensity and we’ll need to be sharp and on our game. It’ll be a tough afternoon.
“But we’ve made quite a few small changes in the way that we play and obviously the change in management and personnel in certain areas so, in this transitional period, it’s always going to be difficult to keep a consistent run of results. People need to be a little bit patient and give it a chance.”