Brighton and Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton hailed Pascal Gross after the German’s brace led the Seagulls to their first Premier League win.
Gross scored in either half and set up Tomer Hemed for a third as they brushed aside a lacklustre West Brom side 3-1.
The 26-year-old was signed from Ingolstadt in May, and Hughton was delighted by the contribution of a player who has been on the club’s radar for a while.
He said: “He’s been good for us from day one and has settled in very easily. Fortunately he was one of our first [signings] so he’s done most of the pre-season with us, which always helps.
“He’s a flexible player who can play in a few positions across midfield and that adaptability will certainly help us.
“Credit to our recruitment department as he’s been on our radar for a few years now. I was made aware of him two-and-a-half years ago. He’s a hard worker and he showed the ability that he’s got.”
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The hosts were in control for most of the match, but Hughton admits there were a few jitters after James Morrison pulled a goal back for the Baggies in the 77th minute.
“The relief is there because of the quality of the team that we’re up against,” he continued. “At 3-1 it’s the type of game that if they get a second it becomes a very nervy ending.
“I thought the scoreline was a reflection of the game. We were very good in periods and fortunately for us we got the goals at good times.”
Gross scored the opening goal on the stroke of half-time and West Brom boss Tony Pulis concedes that the timing of it could not have been worse.
He said: “I thought we were second best for big parts of the game. It was terrible to concede the goal and it gave them a lift coming into the dressing room at half-time. It obviously gave them a boost in the second half and kicked the stuffing out of us.
“Fair play to Brighton, they played well. We’ve conceded three poor goals, but still had opportunities at the other end and a lot of possession to create more.”
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