GRAEME Jones today offers a revealing glimpse of the Darren Moore regime which has taken the team into the Sky Bet Championship promotion mix.
Albion’s Assistant Head Coach is revelling in his new role at the Club just three months on from his World Cup adventure with Belgium.
Jones says working with this Albion squad has strengthened his faith in “good characters” eager to learn and has been equally struck by the developing leadership qualities of his old friend and former team mate Moore.
Graeme sat down with wba.co.uk to assess the progress so far of a team which heads for his old club Wigan tomorrow second in the Championship.
He said: “Darren Moore the coach is an off-the-ball expert - and I mean that - while we remain in the process of marrying two styles, on and off the ball.
“As a leader, he is generous, strong . . . there’s five per cent of him that you don’t want to see. He can be tough. That’s the other side of him which all the top managers have. You under-estimate Darren at your peril and I’ve seen many people in Darren’s life who have done that.
“But he’s got this beautiful quality of being able to be himself as a leader. He’s been really impressive.
“He’s kind with his work by which I mean he believes good people should be given the lease to express themselves in their area…he gives you that freedom. It’s up to you whether or not you take that opportunity.
“He’s a very secure person in his own mind and body and so far, so good. But in football you can never stop and we’ve got to keep moving forward.”
Graeme has been a pivotal figure in bringing to life his Head Coach’s vision of a new Albion which has a focus on retaining possession, scoring goals and trying to dominate opponents from the front foot.
And he says he has relished the work with specifically the defenders but also the squad as a whole as these plans have started to take shape.
“A lot of this process I have been through before … the frustrations, uncertainties, mistakes and the buy-in (from the back three). It’s normal. You accept it, these question marks,” says Graeme.
“I enjoy the process because of the boys’ commitment to it. The boys have been incredible, really incredible. It’s been a pleasure working with them, it really, really is.
“It helps when you work with a group of boys like ours. They’ve restored my faith in good characters. If you’re straight, honest and you’re fair and hopefully know your stuff, they will respond to it and they have.”