West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo hailed match winner Robert Koren after his spectacular strike against Sheffield Wednesday lifted the team back into the automatic promotion places.

Koren, a half-time substitute for Jerome Thomas, struck the only goal of Tuesday's game from 30 yards in the 79th minute to lift Albion over Nottingham Forest and put them two points clear in second place.

Last month, Koren and Di Matteo were at loggerheads when the Slovenia midfielder reacted furiously to being substituted against Scunthorpe.

But Di Matteo said: "The goal that Koren scored was a great goal and it probably needed a goal like that to win the game.

"It took a great effort by Koren and I am very pleased for him. We have talked a number of times and I understand the fact that every player wants to play.

"He is a good player and an intelligent person as well. But at the end of the day we have 21 players available and it is about the squad. To get over the finishing line we will need everybody.

"I think we have to put our individual agenda to one side and we have to believe that what we do is best for West Bromwich Albion.

"At the end of the day if you can be successful then it will be of benefit to everyone."

Di Matteo was relieved to get past Wednesday and he added: "We created a number of chances in the second half but their goalkeeper made some great saves.

"Credit to Sheffield Wednesday, in the first half they defended very well. They made it very hard for us to create chances but in the second half we put the pressure on them.

"We were a little bit nervous in the first half but in the second half we stayed patient and passed the ball better."

As for Albion's promotion challenge, Di Matteo will not take anything for granted and he said: "The table looks very tight. There are no easy games and it is hard to win games at this stage of the season where everyone is fighting for something."

Before Koren struck, relegation-threatened Wednesday had looked set to hold out for a point thanks to a heroic second-half display by goalkeeper Lee Grant.