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New West Brom coach Julian Dicks: Slaven Bilic is calming influence

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

New first team coach Julian Dicks has revealed Slaven Bilic is a calming influence in the dressing room.

Julian Dicks and Slaven Bilic.

Dicks has joined up with his former West Ham team-mate once more after their first reunion at Upton Park.

The 50-year-old, who used to play for Birmingham City and Liverpool, has a reputation for being a tough nut.

But he says Bilic's approach at West Ham encouraged him to adopt his own methods in the changing room.

“Tactically he is very astute and when we were at West Ham he was very calming," said Dicks, who is out in Spain with the rest of the squad.

"Sometimes I think if I’d have been manager I’d have come in and had a go at the players.

"Sometimes they need that, of course they do, but he was very calming.

“When he left West Ham I went to be the manager of Heybridge in the Bostik North and a lot of what Slav did at West Ham I took with me to Heybridge.

“Before, when I managed, if we got beat I’d hammer the players but if you get beat you don’t have to have a go at the players and I took a lot of that with me.

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"I think the players I managed were very surprised. From that point of view he’s really good.”

Dicks guided Heybridge Swifts to victory in the play-offs last season although a league restructure meant they missed out on promotion.

Replacing the outgoing Jimmy Shan, Dicks jumped at the chance for his second reunion with Bilic.

And the former Blues full-back needed no convincing to join the Baggies.

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“He didn’t have to sell it to me," said Dicks. "West Brom are a fantastic club with a great supporters.

"I came here with West Ham when Slav was the manager and the supporters were fantastic.”

Dicks has completed Bilic's backroom staff following the earlier appointments of fellow Croatians Dean Racunica and Danilo Butorovic.

“I’ve known Slav for a long, long time," he said. "We shared rooms together on the away trips, he used to make my coffee, but now I make them for him.

“We have a great relationship and we’ve stayed in touch."

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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