Express & Star

Jed Wallace: Daryl Dike can be West Brom difference

Jed Wallace is relishing the prospect of playing alongside Daryl Dike – a striker who he believes can turn average crosses into good ones.

Last updated

Wallace and Dike combined superbly during the Baggies friendly win over Hertha Berlin on Saturday – with the ex-Millwall man whipping in an excellent cross that Dike buried with an even better header.

That goal arrived just a couple of minutes after the American striker had come off the bench.

But just moments before, fellow sub Grady Diangana caught the eye when he put the ball on a plate for John Swift to covert. And those two goals have only fuelled Wallace’s belief that Albion have one of the best forward lines in the Championship.

“He (Dike) is someone that can attack the deliveries I’m going to put in the box,” the former Millwall man said when asked about Dike and his goal against Berlin.

“I have played with some very good centre forwards that like to get on the end of crosses in my time.

“When I think of Millwall, I had Steve Morison and Matt Smith.

“Daryl falls into that category. But not only is he a big lad, he is very, very, mobile and you saw that with the goal.

“He got across his man really well. The cross is one thing but, for me, it’s all about the end product.

“Any good striker can make an average cross look a good one.

“That is what he did there.

“It was a really great header.

“And you saw the impact we can have from the bench.

“We brought on Daryl and Grady – two of the best attackers in the division.

“It’s important we’re all ready to come off the bench and start games. It’s a long season, 46 games, and you can’t start them all.

“There will be times when me, Swifty, Matty (Matt Phillips), Granty (Karlan Grant) and Cal (Callum Robinson) are coming off the bench and we all need to affect the game.”

Albion face a tough start to their Championship season with Steve Bruce’s side facing fellow promotion hopefuls Middlesbrough and Watford in their opening two games.

It all kicks off on Saturday when they travel to the Riverside Stadium to take on a Boro side managed by Chris Wilder. And Wallace can’t wait to get going. “I think a lot of outsiders will look at us and Middlesbrough as two teams who are expected to be up there – we certainly have that ambition,” he continued.

“If you ask me before the fixtures came out what would be the hardest game - I’d probably have said Middlesbrough away.

That is where we start. We have got three teams at the start of the year that want to be up there in May, ourselves, Watford and Middlesbrough.

“We all play each other in the first two games. But they are the games you come to this club to play in.

“West Brom/Middlesbrough, West Brom/Watford, they are the games I want to playing in so I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”