Express & Star

Slaven Bilic urges West Brom to make their possession count in front of goal

Slaven Bilic has urged Albion to be more ruthless in the final third after failing to capitalise on their dominant possession against Millwall.

Last updated
Slaven Bilic. (AMA)

The Baggies enjoyed 73 per cent possession in their 1-1 draw with the Lions, but struggled to make it count at times.

It took an Alex Pearce own goal to give the Baggies the lead on the hour mark before Matt Smith crashed home an equaliser 15 minutes from time.

“We had a lot of the ball, but we expected that," said Bilic. "Our passing was good, was quick at the back and in the building up.

“In the first half we had complete control but I wanted us to have that 20 yards further up.

“We didn’t create a lot, we had one great chance in the first half, but we created some good opportunities. Our decision making there wasn’t the greatest.

“I’m disappointed with the result, but I can’t be negative about the performance – the only thing I didn’t like, and it happened at Forest – we were kind of happy [with what we were doing].

“Of course the opponent goes on the front foot and they’re hard to stop but you have to put them in trouble more.

“We finished the game with [Romaine] Sawyers and [Filip] Krovinovic as holding midfielders, which was risky, but we didn’t have any problems.

"I’m pleased with the majority of the performance, but I can’t be with the result.

“We have to win home games, give Millwall the credit, but we have to win the majority of those games, especially when we’re 1-0 up.”

Kenneth Zohore missed the best chance of a goalless first half when his shot from eight yards out was straight at Bartosz Bialkowksi.

Bilic admitted Albion's No.9 should have scored, but he was pleased with the effort his team put in.

“That kind of chance was an unlucky finish, but you have to score," he said. "We have to expect that.

"But they gave everything, the crowd should be pleased with the game that we played. I heard that they liked it.

"But it needs to be more clinical because we have the players and we brought the players in that are like that.”

Albion signed Charlie Austin for £4million on deadline day, but none of Thursday's four signings were named in the squad because it was too early.

When Bilic was asked if Austin would have scored Zohore's chance, he said: "That’s why we brought him in.

"That’s why we’ve got him but I expect that also from our strikers that played today.

“It’s not that we haven’t got a striker and we got Charlie Austin. No, he’s one of four strikers. He’s the biggest name, yes, that’s why we’ve got him.

“It’s very positive that we’ve got something to build on, but we have good strikers today."