Paul Robinson hails Albion boss

Old-boy Paul Robinson has saluted "graceful" Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo and revealed his son wants to copy the Hawthorns head coach.

Old-boy Paul Robinson has saluted "graceful" Albion boss Roberto Di Matteo and revealed his son wants to copy the Hawthorns head coach.

Robinson is a fan of the Baggies chief, who allowed him to leave to follow his Premier League ambitions with Bolton.

But the former Albion full-back was still taken aback when his eight-year-old son Luke, who shares a classroom with Di Matteo's son Demi, became a central midfielder like the Italian.

He said: "I didn't know his boy went to my son's school until my lad came home and asked me a question. He said 'Daddy, who is better, Di Matteo or you?' I thought 'where has this question come from all of a sudden?'

"I said 'obviously me now because I am still playing and Robbie is the manager of West Brom.'

"We had a little giggle but my wife asked me the day after 'do you know it was Robbie Di Matteo's son who asked Luke the question?'

"I thought cheers, Luke, thanks for that mate! My three lads, Luke (8), Jamie (4) Archie (19 months) are getting big. Hopefully they will be three footballers.

"Luke is a centre midfield player. I don't know where he has got that from. Robbie might be at school teaching him to play that midfield role.

"I'm trying to get him to swap but it's not happening!"

The common ground shared by the children has allowed Di Matteo and Robinson to become acquainted, despite spending just three weeks together at the Hawthorns before the defender moved on.

But Robinson will always be grateful to the Baggies boss for clearing the way for a move back to the Premier League following last summer's relegation.

He said: "Robbie understood my views on Premier League football and accepted that he needed to find a replacement.

"I can't thank him enough for being so graceful in giving me the opportunity. Not a lot of people do that.

"I am hoping West Brom will stay up but not do too well at the weekend. There is stability there and they have a great bunch of players, young and experienced lads who have played in the Premier League.

"The manager understands the Premier League and he has that calm and collected charisma about him. He seems to settle the team down.

"It is great to see. You don't want to see teams coming up automatically going straight back down.

"You want to see them stay in the league. I am hoping I left on good terms."