BILLY Jones admits he is enjoying the license to attack Claudio Yacob’s influence on the team has granted him.
The Baggies right-back has impressed going forward this term knowing he can rely on the disciplined Argentina holding midfielder to cover him on the pitch.
And, after scoring six times in the Championship in his final season at Preston before arriving at The Hawthorns, his first Barclays Premier League goal could be just around the corner.
“With the signing of Claudio, I feel I can attack that little bit more with the assurance he’s just going to sit in there like he’s done so well this year,” said Jones, ahead of Saturday's trip to West Ham (ko 3pm).
“That’s been nice from my point of view.
“Playing football like that means I’ve been able to attack a little bit more.
“Claudio’s been such an important part of our season.
“He’s freed up Youssouf [Mulumbu] a little bit to get more involved and get more creative going forward.
“He just sits in there and you just know he’s going to be there filling in.
“He’s done superbly this year.
“I think him and Youssouf, in their first season together, have built up a great partnership in the middle that has worked really well.”
Jones has also praised the job Steve Clarke has done this term – and has tapped into the knowledge the Baggies head coach has as one of Chelsea’s best-ever right-backs.
“It’s been great working under the gaffer – he’s had a great season,” he added.
“He’s very similar to Roy [Hodgson] to be honest.
“He’s very organised.
“Roy, always went in with a game-plan, and you had a feeling going into a game that if you just stuck to the game-plan from a personal point of view and a team point of view you would win the game.
“It’s very much the same with the gaffer now.
“We go into each game with a game-plan and we know weaknesses, and we know what to do to win the games.
“More often than not, when we follow that, and perform to our abilities, we usually end up winning.
“Both head coaches have been massive and I feel like I’ve improved under the new gaffer this year.”