Club News

Jones' Albion left-back luck strikes again

And defender glad big miss did not cost Baggies against West Ham

BILLY Jones is happy to utilise his versatility and fill in at left-back for Albion if required.

The right-back made his long-awaited return from a hamstring injury in last Monday’s 3-1 defeat at Manchester City, a game which saw left-back Liam Ridgewell limp off at the close nursing a knee problem.

Jones duly started on the left side of defence on Saturday against West Ham before switching flanks prior to half-time when Steven Reid then fell victim to a groin complaint.

The 27-year-old completed the second period in his more natural position, with skipper Chris Brunt filling in on the left.

Reid is a doubt for Sunday’s trip to Arsenal (ko 1.30pm) while Ridgewell has been ruled out, and Jones admits he will happily be 'Mr Versatile' for the good of the group should he be called upon.

“I have always said that if needs be and I’ve got to fill in there for the team and the gaffer then I’m happy to do that,” Jones said.

“I got an inkling after the City game that Ridgy was out and I might get put back there.

“But I have fond memories of playing at left-back from my Albion debut against Wolves [a 2-0 victory in 2011/12] and then a win at Villa the week after, so I’m happy to fill in there.

“Right-back for me is my position and I feel a lot more natural there but if I’ve got to fill in at left-back again between now and the end of the season I’m more than happy to do so.”

Albion’s 1-0 triumph over the Hammers came courtesy of Saido Berahino’s ninth goal of the season in the 11th minute.

Jones, rampaging upfield, was presented with a glorious chance of his own to double the lead but missed the target with his diving header from a mere six yards out.

It would have handed him only his second goal in an Albion shirt, coming after he rescued a 1-1 draw against Newcastle almost a year ago to the day after Saturday’s success.

And Jones could not believe he missed the target this time around.

“It is great to get a clean sheet and even more so personally to win when you miss a header from six yards out!” he admitted.

“I have ribbed the strikers a lot this season when they’ve missed those chances and I always thought if I got the chance I’d take it.

“But it wasn’t to be so it was great to get the clean sheet and the win.

“James Tomkins just put me off a little bit and I thought he might just get a flick on it and then it landed on my head - but there is no excuse.

“I should be putting those away so I’m just thankful the team put the graft in and got the clean sheet to get us the win.”