Jimmy Shan says Rekeem Harper was “smiling from ear to ear” after his maiden senior goal helped Albion beat Rotherham United 2-1 at The Hawthorns.
The 19-year-old slammed home a sublime left-foot strike from 20 yards to win the game as Albion came from behind to claim all three points in their final home fixture of the regular Sky Bet Championship season.
And Albion’s caretaker Head Coach admits the midfielder, who claimed the Young Player of the Season award before kick-off, could not hide his delight when the team returned to the dressing room at the final whistle.
“It was a fantastic moment and what a lovely clean strike on his weaker side to go and get us the three points,” said Shan.
“I’m delighted for the boy. He played 60 minutes, there or thereabouts, on Good Friday and he went 90 minutes today. I got to about the 55-minute mark and thought maybe physically he’d begin to fatigue but he probably had our best two moments in terms of injecting some tempo and pace into the final third.
“I decided to keep him on the pitch and that turned out to be a positive. He got his first goal for West Bromwich Albion at senior level. What a way to do it.
“He’s delighted, he’s come into the changing room at the end of the game with a smile from ear to ear. He’s absolutely buzzing and fair play to him, the lads, and the staff who share that with him.”
Shan admits Albion were not at their best against the Millers but says his side can take confidence from their five consecutive home wins at The Hawthorns.
“I’ll be honest and say we weren’t very good today, that’s my honest assessment. It was difficult conditions, it was blustery, it wasn’t conducive to a game of football. Wind always does that.
“We had moments where we could have controlled the tempo of the game better but we didn’t do that.
“All those with experience tell me that if you can win ugly you take it and you take the points. I think we’ve done that because we were nowhere near our best today.
“Five wins from five is great to take into the Play-Offs but I think we have been indifferent in those games.
“There’s only one home game to go now [in the Play-Offs] and we need to make sure we’re firing on all cylinders in all areas.”