Former Preston full-back also excited by strike-force
BILLY Jones was delighted to come away with a victory in his home town – after Albion overcame Greek outfit Atromitos 3-1 at Greenhous Meadow.
The Shrewsbury-born right-back played a prominent role in the Baggies’ third-successive pre-season triumph, assisting Nicolas Anelka’s equaliser during his 90-minute display.
But the 26-year-old believes there is more to warm-up fixtures than merely winning as Steve Clarke’s side prepare for another Barclays Premier League campaign.
“It was nice to play at the new Meadow,” said Jones.
“I’ve got good memories of school cup finals at the old Meadow but this was the first time I’ve played at the new ground.
“I had family and a few friends at the game.
“I heard them in the first half because it was a little bit quiet.
“I think I heard my dad coaching me, which was a bit weird – like a flashback to my youth days!
"But it was nice for them to be there.
“At the moment, the gaffer talks about these being training games first and foremost and getting through them.
“It’s about getting fitness and sharpness but you need to get that winning mentality and you want to win games going into the start of the season.”
Jones provided an inch-perfect cross for Anelka’s 55th-minute leveller as the Baggies came from a goal behind to record a win over last season’s fourth-placed Greek Superleague side.
And the former Preston full-back says he has been impressed with how quickly Albion’s new-look strike force has knitted together.
“They are all linking up well, looking sharp and scoring goals,” Jones added.
“The lads that are playing up front in these games are gaining confidence, scoring goals and playing well.
“You can tell what a class act Anelka is.
“You could see last night how clever he is on the ball and how well-balanced he is.
"He’s scoring goals as well.
“He spread the ball out wide to me and I was just hoping that he would carry on his run.
“Like any great striker would, he continued his run and I knew I had to hit it hard and get it in there and he finished it brilliantly.
“It was nice to get another assist and good for him to get another goal.
“There are great signs at the moment going into the start of the season.
“Markus is playing well too and scoring goals and it’s going to give him confidence going into the start of the season.
“The gaffer will have that selection headache that we talk about before the start of any season.
“He’s going to have options because the strikers are playing well and scoring goals.”