Former West Brom man makes controversial claim as new signing is assessed
Luton Town boss Graeme Jones has claimed that they looked like the former Premier League team, despite losing 2-1 to West Bromwich Albion.
The Hatters went 1-0 up in the first half, but two Grady Diangana goals gave Albion all three points to continue their unbeaten start to the Championship season.
But Jones, who was part of Darren Moore’s coaching staff at Albion last season, felt the Baggies didn’t earn their goals as his side gifted them both.
“If you were looking at an ex-Premier League side it was us first half, and we couldn’t sustain it, Slav threw on a bit of power, changed the game,” Jones told reporters.
“I thought physically we didn’t come out at half-time as I liked, as I would have liked. But obviously that’s part of the period that we’re in and we need to think about the positive aspect – that we dominated the ball for the first 45 minutes and went in at half-time 1-0 up.
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Grady Diangana stole the headlines at Kenilworth Road as he announced himself at West Brom.
The West Ham loanee, one of four new signings to arrive on deadline day last Thursday, was introduced at half time and put an Albion side, who were previously trailing, in front within six minutes.
Diangana’s goals secured Albion’s second win of the season, their second on the road already, but it was just as much his all round game that impressed at Luton Town than his brace.
Here we take a look at Diangana’s introduction to the Albion faithful, his display on Saturday and what his head coach has said.
THE EARLY STAGES
The 21-year-old was the first through the door last week as Albion beat the deadline to bolster their thin squad.
Having missed the draw with Millwall, Diangana was handed a start alongside fellow debutant Charlie Austin in the week as Albion disappointingly bowed out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of the Lions.
The winger started on the left hand side at The Hawthorns and his stinging strike from outside the area bamboozled Luke Steele, which led to Austin’s opener.
Still getting his match sharpness up and running, Diangana was withdrawn after 70 minutes.
Bilic, though, returned to his first choice players at Luton, meaning that Diangana had to settle for a place on the bench.
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The last laugh
As West Brom’s players gathered for a team-talk, as their FA Cup fourth-round replay was about to head into extra-time one voice was heard above all others.
It wasn’t that of Darren Moore, Albion’s head coach at the time. It was Graeme Jones, Moore’s ‘second-in-command’ whom the players had huddled round for tactical pointers and motivational messages.
That moment was very much a snapshot of the dynamic that existed under the double act at The Hawthorns.
Jones held the title of assistant head coach, but was essentially running things. It was his vision to play out from the back with a three-man defence.
A ploy that cost West Brom many cheap goals and was eventually scrapped in favour of a flat back four and a not-so-fussy philosophy in possession drawn straight out of Moore’s rookie coaching manual.
A few short weeks after that telling cup clash in February, Moore and Jones were shown the door. Even before that time, Jones had agreed to take over at Luton, where he and the Baggies became reacquainted yesterday.