BILLY Jones insists Peter Odemwingie’s workmanlike display in yesterday’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea made life easier for him at right-back.
The Nigeria international - more renowned for sticking the ball in the back of the net - caught the eye in the second half for his tracking back to protect the Baggies from an onslaught of Blues attacks.
Jones paid tribute to the work ethic of all his team-mates - but reserved special praise for Odemwingie, who got his reward by scoring the winner against Roberto Di Matteo's men.
“Peter was quality," he said.
"We know his strength is going forward but he showed that he can do a job defensively - and at times he was doing my job for me.
“It was great from him and I appreciate that work in a fantastic team performance.
“I think from a fan’s point of view, and the lads in the dressing room know, that was probably the biggest shift he’s ever put in for us – definitely since I’ve been here anyway.
“Against a team like Chelsea, from my point of view as a right-back, you need the man in front of you to do that work and he went above and beyond to put a shift in defensively.
“On top of that he got his reward with a goal as well.
“It’s not just Pete, all the lads put a shift in and that’s how you get a result against these teams, because you need all of your players playing well.
“I think it was more important that I was up to it defensively and I think I could have gone and sat in the stands during the second half because Peter was running from full-back to the right wing and covering a lot of ground.”
Jones also highlighted the performances of Gabriel Tamas at centre-half and Boaz Myhill in goal as the pair covered for injured duo Gareth McAuley (hamstring) and Ben Foster (groin) respectively.
“I think it shows our strength in depth - and what a game to show it in against the European champions, who have made a good start themselves.
"The lads who aren’t in the team all work hard on the training pitch.
“I think that showed on Saturday because the likes of Gabi and Bo have stayed focused and when they’ve got their chance they’ve produced great performances – they were top class.
“To be honest, when you get results like that against Chelsea, you might think that they weren’t at the races - but I think they were.
“Obviously they had some chances but we put some bodies on the line to stop them and Boaz was producing great saves when that didn’t happen.
“It’s great to get the win and you’ve got to enjoy moments like this.”