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Darren Moore praises West Brom's academy products after Bolton win

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Darren Moore heaped praise on his young midfielders for their mature performance in Albion's 2-0 win over Bolton.

Darren Moore head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

Rekeem Harper, 18, started his third game in a row for the Baggies while Sam Field, 20, came off the bench in the first half and scored a crucial second goal 15 minutes from time after Jay Rodriguez's first-half opener.

And Moore, who worked with both in the academy when he was a coach, was delighted to see them step up.

"They've both been in and around the team for the last couple of seasons," he said. "They've been training with us from day one, what they've been doing is learning and developing, that level of performance isn't off the cuff, that's been taught behind the scenes.

"To give a level of maturity like that is testament to both players.

"I'm really pleased for Sam. He's a very good player, that was the icing on the cake for him.

"He's gone through and managed to poke the ball home. It took the game away from Bolton."

Field has found minutes hard to come by this season, but came off the bench in the first half when Chris Brunt was forced off with a calf injury, adding to Albion's midfield injury woes.

"They all want to play, the ones on the fringes and outside the team, they want to be a part of it," said Moore. "Sam's no different. But they've got to be ready for when the opportunity does come. You've got to be ready to perform, they've both done that.

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"It's not just Sam and Rekeem, we've had Jonathan Leko and Kyle Edwards, we've blooded and nurtured a group of young players."

The match was punctuated by several protests against Bolton owner Ken Anderson in the home end, and kick-off was delayed when fans threw tennis balls on the pitch.

"We knew the protests would happen at any point in the game," said Moore. "It was about maintaining focus because you can get easily distracted.

"We've come up here as West Brom to focus on getting the job done. It was a good professional job."

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Rodriguez opened the scoring 19 minutes in with a header that looked close to being offside, and Bolton boss Phil Parkinson thought it shouldn't have stood.

Parkinson said: "I think if VAR was here it would have been given offside. Those are the tight dividing lines that need to go your way.

"We went into half-time 1-0 down and I didn't think we deserved that."

However, Moore was pleased the routine - which saw Brunt whip the ball to Craig Dawson to the back post - worked.

"We know what Dawson is like at the back," said Albion's head coach. "I thought he had scored the goal. Jay said he managed to nick it on the line. It gave us a good platform to build on early in the game."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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