Karlan Grant: It’s not been easy, but I’m ready to fly for West Brom

He scored his stunning goal against Blues exactly a year to the day he joined Albion from Huddersfield.

Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion celebrates (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)
Karlan Grant of West Bromwich Albion celebrates (Photo by Adam Fradgley/West Bromwich Albion FC via Getty Images)

But Karlan Grant admits the past 12 months has been far from easy – with the 24-year-old having now rebuilt his confidence following a difficult start to life at The Hawthorns.

Signed by former boss Slaven Bilic in a £15million deal on October 15 last year, Grant was brought in to add fire power to an Albion side struggling for goals in the Premier League.

He got off to a flyer but netting to earn Albion a point at Brighton in only his second game.

But that would prove to be his only goal of the campaign – with the forward then often finding himself out of the team when Sam Allardyce replaced Bilic as head coach.

Now, though, he is flourishing once again having netted four goals in as many games.

“It was tough,” Grant said when asked to reflect on last season. “I arrived having scored goals – I was in the Premier League, where I wanted to be, where everybody wants to be.

“I didn’t have a pre-season coming in so late. Then I got injured and then I wasn’t in the team.

“You do lose confidence.

“So it was all about trying to build that back up. The main thing for me this season was getting back playing again and scoring goals

“Now I feel like I’m doing that, I’m bouncing back.

“The gaffer has instilled a lot of confidence into the team, we all get on – it’s a positive place.

“The team has shown a lot of faith in me this term and I’m grateful for that.”

Grant’s thunderous 20-yard strike against Blues proved to be the difference on Friday night – with that goal enough to earn Albion a crucial three points and the derby bragging rights.

In what was a low-key game overall, both teams struggled to create clear goalscoring opportunities.

Lee Bowyer’s side arrived with a game plan to frustrate the Baggies – and they did it well until Grant’s moment of magic.

And the forward believes patience will be a key attribute for Albion this season – with teams happy to come to The Hawthorns and sit back in the hope of gaining a point.

“It wasn’t an easy game but we stuck to the game plan and came through to get the three points,” Grant said. “They sat deep at times and we just had to be patient.

“We had to keep getting the ball into dangerous areas and we did that.

“I think that will be the case a lot here at home, especially as we are on a decent run of form.

“Teams are going to sit in. But we know we can score at any time so we just have to stay patient.”

Following his goal, Grant celebrated by pretending to suck his thumb. And he revealed why.

“I’ve got a little one that’s almost here, so I just wanted to give them a little shout-out,” he revealed.

“For the goal, I saw the defender drop off and thought ‘I’m going to hit this one’. I was in a good position and just tried to get my strike off quick.

“I’d like to say it’s my trademark finish but it had been a while since I had done it.

“Thankfully, I’ve done it for my last two goals now so I’m happy.”

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