Express & Star

'The goals will come' – Slaven Bilic encouraged by West Brom's performance

An encouraged Slaven Bilic is confident the goals will come for Albion after gushing with praise for his side's performance against Reading.

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Slaven Bilic. (AMA)

The Baggies boss publicly and passionately praised the display – and said his side deserved to score three goals.

Privately, he told them to be proud of coming from behind for the third time this season to keep their unbeaten Championship record intact.

Although it took an 88th-minute penalty from Kenneth Zohore to rescue a point against Reading after Ovie Ejaria's curler in the 71st minute, Bilic thought his side deserved more from the game.

The Baggies had another strong penalty shout waved away in the first half and enjoyed plenty of the ball in the second period.

"We absolutely deserved to equalise and we just ran out of time to score the winner," said Bilic. "We deserved much more points based on this performance.

"We have to win games ugly, grab them 1-0, but when we play like this, we have to score three goals.

"We have to score three goals considering the number of opportunities we have, and the way we are playing. We are getting there with almost the whole team.

"It's going to come, goals will come if we continue like this.

"We are scoring at the moment, we've scored in every game, but when we are in this form we have to use that momentum and score goals."

Albion have won two and drawn two of their four league games so far, but Bilic described tonight's performance as the best of the season.

"Since the start of the campaign we are playing good football, but this was our best game so far," he said.

"It's all about results, it's that business, but there's something else, the way we create, the way we play, the fitness and quality on the pitch, against a good team.

"They have players who can frustrate you and are very confident team.

"We started great, then it was an open game and they had their spells.

"We were getting in those areas, two against one on the wing, some crosses were good and some were not good.

"In the second half it was all us, and then when it was all us we conceded a goal that was on one hand a brilliant strike, on the other hand, even being totally objective, it's a foul for us on the edge of the box, their player is all over Sawyers. Five seconds after that, we conceded.

"What made me happy is we didn't think or change the way we played, we were creating chances, getting into the area, and had so many shots in the box."

Although Zohore was dropped for Austin, after coming on in the 75th minute he tucked away the all-important spot-kick to notch his first goal of the season.

"It was a big goal," smiled Bilic. "Strikers can say 'I don't care', but it's very important for him to open the account. It's not easy to come from the bench and take the penalty.

"He's a striker, he needs that confidence, it wasn't only the goal, it was the way he came on.

"When he arrived at the club he wasn't fit enough, and he was running the channels when he had to.

"Now he's fitter, he's powerful and pacy for a big lad. It's very important he scored a goal."

Albion had 59 per cent possession against a lively Reading side and 20 shots, although just four were on target.

"I hate not to win games when we are good," added Bilic. "But I told the guys, be proud, this is one point gained considering what the result was a few minutes ago. Unfortunately we ran out of time to score a winner."