West Brom are better equipped to go up now, says Peace

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The Independent Football

Jeremy Peace, the West Bromwich Albion chairman, believes the club is better prepared for the Premier League than when they were last promoted to the top flight four years ago. The Baggies effectively clinched promotion by drawing 1-1 at home to Southampton courtesy of a late equalising goal from £3m signing Chris Brunt.

Only an extraordinary set of results on the last day of the season can deny Albion a return to the promised land. "I grew up following Albion in the 1960s and 1970s when we had great footballing sides and I think to have that culture here at the moment is great," Peace told the Birmingham Mail.

"As Tony [Mowbray] has said before it does equip us a bit better for the Premier League. It will be a massive gulf to cross but we will be a bit better prepared than we were a few seasons ago.

"Getting back into the top flight has been a fantastic thing for us. It has been a really tough season. It is a difficult division to get out of and we are just really pleased to be where we are. Mathematically we still need to do it but hopefully we are almost there now."

Southampton manager Nigel Pearson took solace from the point earned. "It would have been nice to hold onto the lead but it wasn't to be. But the performance was heartening and the point means we have dragged a couple more teams into the equation."