ALBION assistant Nathan Jones has praised club bosses for hanging onto two-goal hero Will Buckley.
The Seagulls rejected an undisclosed bid from Gus Poyet’s Sunderland for the right-winger during the January transfer window.
Arch-rivals Crystal Palace were also strongly linked with Buckley, who celebrated his 100th appearance for the club with both goals in the 2-0 win at Bolton.
Jones told The Argus: “He’s a fantastic player. That’s why he was courted in the window and that’s why we’ve fought to keep hold of him because he’s difficult to replace or to lose.
“The club were fantastically strong. We know he was courted but we couldn’t let him go in that window and the club were outstanding really, backed us on that.
“Hopefully now it will pay dividends. Sometimes your hand is forced but the club were strong. They backed us and we’re very pleased about that.”
Buckley, plagued by hamstring problems, struck in each half at the Reebok on his first away start in the Championship this year.
Jones said: “When he is in form and fit and raring to go he is an outstanding player. He was part and parcel of a good performance. He added two fantastic bits of quality but he also put in a real shift.”
A fifth win out of seven in the Championship for eighth-placed Albion has moved them to within a point of the play-offs. Closest pursuers Ipswich, who visit the Amex on Saturday, are five points adrift and have played a game more.