Belfast Telegraph

Tony Pulis delighted with improving Salomon Rondon

West Brom boss Tony Pulis hailed Salomon Rondon after the £12million striker's hat-trick beat Swansea.

The Venezuelan scored his first treble in the Premier League with three headers in 13 second-half minutes to seal a 3-1 win.

It lifted the Baggies to seventh as they continued a surprise bid to reach Europe having won four of their last six games - scoring 10 goals in three home matches in the process.

Rondon now has seven goals for the season, after netting 10 last term following his move from Zenit St Petersburg, and Pulis believes he can still improve.

He said: "He's getting better and he's scoring goals. He finds it very difficult at times to understand how hard every game is, but that comes with time.

"He was up and down last year but he's been more consistent this year.

"The great thing about tonight is that he missed two great chances in the first half and it hasn't affected him. We had to grind it out.

"The first half was scrappy, I didn't think they got out of the players what they're capable of, but Salomon still missed two chances without us playing well.

"The 20 minutes after half-time was more like us and obviously he scored a wonderful hat-trick."

Rondon missed two fine openings during a poor first half which the visitors tried to control without creating anything serious.

He scored his first five minutes after the break before getting on the end of two Chris Brunt crosses to complete his hat-trick. Albion host Manchester United on Saturday a place and four points behind the visitors.

Wayne Routledge pulled a goal back late on for Swansea but they have just one point from their last seven away matches and are three points from safety.

They go to Middlesbrough on Saturday, who are directly above them in the table, having won just two of manager Bob Bradley's nine games in charge.

Bradley said: " We were solid first half but conceded early in the second half on a set-piece.

"We just have to trust ourselves that we'll have chance to get back to 1-1. There was a 13-minute stretch where we lost our way. I need to see replays but I felt we got too deep.

"I think we can do this but if we're playing well and somehow we go down, that doesn't change everything.

"If we keep playing our football, keep doing the little things right, eventually we'll get back into the game."

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