West Brom boss Slaven Bilic braces Baggies to deal with crisis
Albion must learn to roll with the punches if they are to enjoy a successful Championship season, claims new boss Slaven Bilic.
The Baggies head coach believes every team will experience two or three “crisis” points during the course of a gruelling 46-match campaign.
Reacting to those moments in the right manner is, he says, the key to cracking the second tier.
Bilic said: “You have 46 games in one competition. You need stability, continuity, you have to be ready.
“You’re not going to avoid crises, you’ll have two or three of them. The question is how quick can you react when it happens.
“We go game by game, that’s why we want a good squad, a big squad, but not overloaded.”
Albion’s squad building is set to continue right up to next Thursday’s transfer deadline, with three or four more signings wanted and the focus very much on strengthening in forward areas.
The Baggies remain in talks with Basel over striker Albian Ajeti, after it emerged the Swiss international’s wage demands are not as incompatible as first thought.
Former Augburg frontman Ajeti, 22, scored 21 goals last season and is one of several names on the club’s list of targets.
Albion remain hopeful of completing a deal for Sporting Lisbon’s Brazilian winger Matheus Pereira, though the move, which would initially be a loan, is currently being held up by the Portugeuse club’s insistence on it including an obligation to buy.
Bilic, who has never managed in the Championship before, is looking forward to the challenge.
“This league is very attractive to the managers,” he said. “They follow this league in Croatia, of course it’s not the Premier League, it’s the second tier.
“But it’s very interesting for every football coach. There are 24 clubs, it’s really even.
“There’s a saying in every league that everybody can beat everybody, but in this league, they definitely can.
“We’re West Brom, we’re a big name here, but we have 10 or 11 clubs that can say the same. Massive clubs. It’s pure essence of football so I love it.”
Albion’s home match with Huddersfield has been moved back to a noon kick-off on Sunday, September 22, for live broadcast by Sky Sports.