Steve Bruce says he’s “absolutely delighted” for Brandon Thomas-Asante after the forward came on to bag a late leveller against Burnley on his Baggies debut.
Bruce introduced the new signing with 20 minutes to go at The Hawthorns and he was in the right place at the right time to sweep the ball home from close range to grab Albion a deserved equaliser.
Incredible scenes followed in front of the Smethwick End, with Thomas-Asante, his team-mates and the club’s supporters all celebrating together, and the boss couldn’t be happier for the 23-year-old forward.
Bruce said: “It’s great for the kid Brandon Thomas-Asante. He’ll make all the headlines and that’s the pleasing thing.
“I haven’t seen it many times before in football but when he walked back into the dressing room everyone stood up and gave him a round of applause.
“I’m absolutely delighted for him. We think he deserves his opportunity and you can’t question his enthusiasm. He came on and got the equaliser. It’s great for him.
“It was a great ball from Swifty. It’s come off their defender and he’s managed to get something on it which has got us something from the game, which we fully deserved in my opinion.
“He did really well because when he struck the ball I think he might have even been falling backwards. It’s a great finish and we’re all really happy for him.”
Bruce was proud of his side’s performance and believes his team are “really close” to earning the results some of their displays deserve.
The boss added: “The supporters who have been watching us over the last few weeks, in particular here at The Hawthorns, will know that we’ve played very well apart from probably the Cardiff City game.
“Before I say anything about the team, I want to talk about the supporters. I thought they were absolutely magnificent.
“The players responded to them and at the end, it felt as though they were sucking the ball into the net.
“It was another really good performance, I think we’re really, really close.
“The frustrating thing is the fact we couldn’t take more than one of our chances. It’s been like that for the majority of the season so far and we’ve created more than enough opportunities to win it.
“We could be the ones sitting at the top end of the table, but there’s still plenty of the season left to play.
“We have to keep believing in the way we are playing and stick at it. It’s been a change but the players have adapted to it and they’re enjoying it. There’s still work to be done though.
“The supporters understand their team haven’t given up, once again. Once more they’ve seen a resilience in us, and that’s so important.
“We need to stay with it. The supporters have stayed with it and it’s great to see.”