Sami Hyypia was today backed to bring the best out of Albion's players - by the man who first signed him as a professional.

The former Liverpool defender is preparing for his first pre-season in charge after signing a three-year deal.

He will meet his squad at their new training ground later this month and The Argus have been told he will make a big impression.

Former Motherwell and FC Haka boss Harri Kampman signed Hyypia on his first pro deal at Finnish minnows MyPa and still keeps in close touch.

He said: “Sami knows how to talk to players.

“We had a long talk about football when I saw him last season and he has respect for players' views.

“He is willing to discuss things with them.

“He is the sort of coach who sees a player as a person.

“He can help them help themselves.”

Hyypia is putting together his off-field staff to work with first team coach Nathan Jones.

Jan-Moritz Lichte, who assisted the Finn at Leverkusen until both were sacked last season, could be a contender.

The quietly-spoken Lichte is highly qualified as a coach. Goalkeeping coach Ruben Martinez and fitness specialist Juan Torrijo both left the Amex last week.