Jones finally finds his feet at West Brom after first goal

The former Crewe and Preston man has excelled in the right-back role in the absence of Steven Reid and grabbed the equaliser in the Baggies' 1-1 draw with Newcastle
West Brom defender Billy Jones feels that his first goal for the club against Newcastle shows that he has finally found his feet at the Hawthorns.

Excelling at right-back in the absence of Steven Reid, the former Crewe and Preston defender believes that he has graduated to a Premier League mentality after a period of adjustment.

"I think the main thing for me was to feel like a Premier League player when I first signed and I do feel more so now that I am," he told reporters after his strike helped to secure a 1-1 draw.

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"I feel like I've played enough games and I have learnt more from the games I've played in the league and I feel like I'm improving as a player so I'm just happy with that and I want to carry on improving and playing as many games as I can in the Premier League.

"With a lot of Championship players, you feel like you're ready to make that step up. You're playing well consistently within the Championship and when you play the Premier League teams in the cup and such, you play well and you feel like: 'Okay, maybe I'm ready for the Premier League'.

"But there's always that doubt because you've never actually played a Premier League game and fortunately for me I've played a few now and a lot of games not just being in and out, consistently on the bounce.

"I feel like I've improved. I wouldn't say established - I would say a player who's keen to carry on improving in this league."

Jones's goal was not only his first for the Baggies; he became the team's first English goalscorer of the whole season.

"I'm obviously delighted," he enthused. "I feel like I should have more in my West Brom career, to be honest. I've fluffed a few and keepers have made good saves so I'm just relieved in general to get that first one and hopefully I can carry on and get some more now."

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West Brom were trailing at half-time to Yoan Gouffran's goal and Jones revealed that an inspirational pep-talk from manager Steve Clarke catalysed the turnaround.

"He sets such high standards and he doesn't accept anything less," observed the defender. "He just said at half-time how disappointed he was with us and it's not us, it's not the way. It's not what he'd associate us with as a team so he was really disappointed.

"He sets standards so high and if you go below them it's unacceptable. We knew the first half, as a group, wasn't good enough and the second half was more like us."

After a strong start to the season, the Baggies have dropped out of European contention though remain a long way away from the relegation dogfight but Jones refutes suggestions that they have nothing for which to play.

He declared: "We talk weekly and before this game we talked about reaching 50 points, finishing within the top eight and record number of wins in the Premier League. Those targets are still the same and they're still achievable with five games to go."

Jones also revealed that he expects the likes of Youssouf Mulumbu, Gareth McAuley and Shane Long to stay at the next club next season, explaining: "I think the club are in negotiations now and I think these are players the club wants to keep and they are great proven Premier League players.

"I am sure the chairman and the staff are all working really hard to make sure that happens."