Albion boss Oscar Garcia has hailed Kazenga LuaLua as a game-changing supersub.
The former Newcastle winger came off the bench in the second half to set up the winning goal for Leo Ulloa in last night’s 1-0 win against fellow Championship play-off contenders Leeds United at the Amex.
LuaLua, still troubled by knee tendon soreness, has been used as a substitute in the last three matches.
Oscar said: “We thought in this game he could come off the bench and make an immediate impact and he did it.
“He is a player who can change a game. We are very happy with him, because every game when he has to come off the bench he comes on with the right attitude and plays really well.
“Leo took the chance really well. Everyone knows what he can do inside the box. He is a real threat and he is a goalscorer.”
Ulloa’s classy finish with the outside of his right foot from LuaLua’s cross has lifted Albion to within a point and a place of the play-offs and four clear of Leeds but Oscar still refuses to discuss the P-word.
He said: “As you know I never think two weeks ahead. I am only focused on the next game. We will enjoy this victory, have two days off and then we will start to prepare for the FA Cup game (against Hull).”
Bruno missed the match with a minor thigh injury but his right-back replacement Inigo Calderon helped Albion to a fourth straight clean sheet at home as Leeds hotshot Ross McCormack, the top scorer in the Championship, was snuffed out.
Oscar added: “It wasn’t easy against one of the best players in the league. McCormack has scored 22 goals and it is not easy to restrict him to no chances. The whole defence played really well."