Albion ready for pitch battle at Charlton

The Argus: Charlton went down 2-0 to Derby in the last home game Charlton went down 2-0 to Derby in the last home game

Nathan Jones is confident Albion can cope with a contrasting challenge at his old club Charlton today.

The Amex pitch remained in excellent condition throughout Saturday's 0-0 draw against Huddersfield, despite relentless rain.

The same may not be true of the playing surface at The Valley, which is notoriously poor in adverse weather.

Charlton had a home game abandoned in August due to a waterlogged pitch, with unlucky Doncaster 3-1 up (see accompanying video).

It could turn into a muddy test for Albion if it rains but Jones believes the players will be adept enough to adapt their passing game accordingly.

The assistant head coach told The Argus: "We won't change the philosophy. We might have to adapt certain elements and play the conditions at times.

"The Charlton pitch hasn't been good for a year and a bit but it's the same for both teams. Charlton have to play on it, so it won't be a factor in how we prepare or how we play.

"I just know with the weather we are having at the moment it will be a difficult surface."

The festive clash is a particularly poignant fixture for Jones. The former Albion defender spent a successful year at Charlton as under-21s development coach until the lure of a return to Albion in the summer to link up with Oscar Garcia as his No. 2 proved too strong for the Spanish-speaking Welshman.

Jones said: "At the time I was very happy, very content. I was at Charlton doing the job I wanted to do.

"We were having a fantastic season. We were on the brink of winning the league and the cup. We were doing brilliantly.

"I'd had approaches but I knew to leave Charlton I needed something very, very good, because I loved my job there.

"I was offered a new contract but when Albion came in there was no decision to make really.

"It was the one I wanted and I am very content now with the job I have and excited about the job I have.

"I would have thought I would have been at Charlton for the foreseeable future but I am not naive enough to know that things change in football either way, good or bad, so you have to take advantage of every opportunity you get."

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