WEST BROM SIGN JONES

West Brom have signed Billy Jones on a free transfer on a three-year deal. Jones has moved to the Hawthorns after his contract with relegated North End came to an end.

The 24-year-old, who can also play in midfield, was Preston’s player of the year last season in the Championship and made over 150 appearances for them.

He is West Brom’s second signing of the summer, the Ipswich defender Gareth McAuley having joined in May.

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WEST BROM LOOK TO END CHELSEA’S DREAM

West Brom are set to end Chelsea’s dream for another season by at least taking a point off the league chasers. Dreams of a Champions League title may have been erased but the Blues will now look to bounce back domestically and keep alive faint hopes of a premier league title this weekend against West Brom.Chelsea saw any hopes of silverware evaporate during the week when the London club was defeated in the quarter-finals of the prized European competition, as perfectly predicted by Mike Richardson.

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WEST BROM RETAIN BACKROOM STAFF

West Brom has informed that they will be retaining for the backroom staff even under new manager Roy Hodgson. Appleton and Downing were promoted to assistant head coach and first team coach respectively last month.

Their appointments followed the departure of Roberto Di Matteo as Baggies manager on 6 February (when a certain webmaster put a free football bet on them to stay up :).)

“It has gone as smoothly as it possibly could and a lot of thanks goes to Michael and Keith,” said Hodgson.

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WEST BROM DRAWS WITH STOKE

Substitute Carlos Vela helped West Brom get out of the drop zone by scoring a vital late goal against Stoke. After a forgettable first half Rory Delap profited from some poor West Brom defending to head Stoke in front from a Jermaine Pennant corner.

But Vela benefited from a close offside decision to level from six yards only five minutes after he had come on.

The Mexican striker almost snatched a winner in injury time but was denied at pint-blank range by Asmir Begovic.

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HODGSON HAS HOPES

West Brom New boss Roy Hodgson has said that he is confident of their stay in the Premier League next season. Hodgson has replaced Roberto di Matteo at the Hawthorns with the club hovering just above the bottom three.

Asked if they are good enough to survive the former Liverpool manager, who watched his new team throw away a 3-0 lead to draw 3-3 with West Ham on Saturday, said: ‘I’m afraid after 90 minutes working with them today and 90 minutes watching them, I can’t answer that.

‘It would be foolish to make rash statements.’

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WEST BROM SIGN VELA

West Bromwich Albion have signed Arsenal striker Carlos Vela on loan until the end of the season. The 21-year-old joins a Baggies side in 16th place in the table, two points off the relegation zone and struggling for their Premier League survival.

West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo said: “He is a new attacking option for us and can play both centrally or wide.

“He also has great technical ability and pace. We hope he can make a big impact during the rest of the season.”

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DI MATTEO DROPS CARSON

West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto di Matteo has dropped Scott Carson from the team and has revealed the reason for doing so. Carson will be replaced by reserve keeper Boaz Myhill for the Premier League visit of Blackpool on Saturday.

Di Matteo said Carson, 25, was still young and the decision to drop him was “a difficult situation”.

The Cumbrian-born keeper, who captains the club, last played for them in their 3-0 defeat by Fulham on 4 January.

In that game he allowed a Simon Davies shot to slide through his hands.

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DI MATTEO DROPS CARSON

West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto di Matteo has dropped Scott Carson from the team and has revealed the reason for doing so. Carson will be replaced by reserve keeper Boaz Myhill for the Premier League visit of Blackpool on Saturday.

Di Matteo said Carson, 25, was still young and the decision to drop him was “a difficult situation”.

The Cumbrian-born keeper, who captains the club, last played for them in their 3-0 defeat by Fulham on 4 January.

In that game he allowed a Simon Davies shot to slide through his hands.

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DI MATTEO CRITICISES MISTAKES

Roberto di Matteo has criticised the mistakes that West Brom have been making recently and says that they will improve. West Brom boss Roberto di Matteo felt his side contributed to their own downfall.

“Today was bad defending. Generally we haven’t conceded too many goals from set pieces but today we conceded two,” the Italian reflected.

“We need to be better and pay attention defensively because you get punished very quickly.”

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DI MATTEO LOOKING AT THE POSITIVES

Roberto di Matteo has said that is looking forward to the positives from the Aston Villa match, a game that West Brom lost. West Brom’s 31-year-wait for a victory at Villa Park goes on after goals from Stewart Downing and Emile Heskey were enough for the hosts to claim the spoils against their Midlands rivals.

Paul Scharner grabbed what proved to be a consolation goal a minute before time and Di Matteo felt a combination of fortune and profligacy in attacking areas cost them on Saturday.

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