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Slaven Bilic calls on West Brom players to improve at the back following Carabao Cup defeat

By Matt Maher | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Slaven Bilic admitted Albion must show more determination to defend the box after suffering a set-piece shocker in their Carabao Cup exit to Millwall.

Slaven Bilic (AMA)

The Baggies looked in complete control of last night’s first round tie at The Hawthorns, after Charlie Austin had put them in front just nine minutes into his debut.

But they then switched off, first at a free-kick and then a corner, allowing Tom Bradshaw and then Aiden O’Brien to turn the match on its head.

Albion also conceded a set piece equaliser to the Lions during Saturday’s 1-1 draw in the Championship and boss Bilic knows it is an issue they must quickly address.

“We cannot concede three goals in two games like this. We have to defend the set pieces better,” he said.

“It is very important because on Saturday (at Luton) it is no going to be any different.

“Set pieces are vital in this league and there are many, many clubs who base their attacking game around putting the ball in the box from corners or from long balls.

“We have to do the basics. We are working on that. But we also have to make more responsibility.

“It is about determination and a willngness to say: ‘I am going to grab you, or you are not going to block me, this is my zone and you are not going to score’.

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“We have to do this more. It has to come from within. If it doesn’t I have to provoke the players to do that.”

Bilic made nine changes to his starting line-up and gave debuts to new signings Austin, Grady Diangana, Marcus Pereira and Darnell Furlong.

He added: “We are disappointed. Big time. OK if you see the team sheet there were many changes but they did the same,.

“We have a good team. All of them are going to play, some of them will play many games in the first XI and we wanted to win with that team.

“It all looked more than well. It was not a five minute good start, it was half-an-hour. The only negative thing was we should be more than one up and then from a free-kick, a goal.

“The second half was the same. We started well and the first time they attack, corner, again, goal.”

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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