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West Brom boss Slaven Bilic: It's the way I am but I might have to calm myself down

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

An emotionally torn Slaven Bilic has admitted he may have to calm down after being sent off against Derby County - but is also aware as head coach he speaks on behalf of the Baggies.

Slaven Bilic (AMA)

Bilic was shown two yellow cards during the 1-1 draw at Pride Park, one for complaining about a dubious penalty given for handball against Filip Krovinovic, and one when a goalkick was given instead of a corner late on.

Albion's boss said referee Gavin Ward didn't tell him why he was being sent to the stands, and asked why he couldn't voice his opinion without being rude to the officials.

"It’s the way I am," admitted Bilic. "I have to calm myself down a bit.

"On the other hand it’s the fifth game and I wasn’t anywhere near to being sent off in the four other games, but every fifth game is too much.

"I will always voice my opinion when others are voicing their opinions when commentating on my job.

"I will never be rude to the people, it’ll never be personal, but I don’t understand why I can’t voice my opinion when it’s not about fashion weekend in London - it’s about something that is influencing our next week, our next game, my job, your job, everybody’s job.

"In a nice and polite way, I have to. West Brom is expecting me to voice my opinion, who will voice the opinion if it's not the manager? That's part of the job but you have to say it in a nice way."

After giving Derby an early penalty when Kieran Gibbs dived in on Martyn Waghorn, the officials awarded the hosts another one shortly before half-time when the ball hit Krovinovic's shoulder.

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"I’m not happy with that," said Bilic. "Not only that, it was a lot of decisions that I’m not happy about. I don’t like talking about it but they affect my job, they affect the atmosphere, affect everything that is part of the West Brom family.

"I give my comments in a polite way. It wasn’t personal, but I wasn’t happy with that. It was for me, too many of them.

"I reacted a few times, for the penalty and for the corner that wasn’t given to us for Jake. I mean it obviously took a deflection, it’s obvious.

"That wasn’t the first time, it was 10-15 times. Fouls, throw-ins. I asked for a corner, did I react? I did. But from my point of view, I didn’t!

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"I will have to work on it, I will have to control myself, but then we’re talking about something that is important for our performance.

I was always the first one to defend - it’s impossible, it’s difficult, but I can say I’m not happy."

When Bilic was asked if referee Gavin Ward told him why he was being sent off, he said: "He didn't tell me, he just gave me the second yellow and the red.

"The fourth official called him and said we have an issue here. And he sent me off. Ok, I mean it's not ok. But what can I do about it?

"Nothing. I don't want to put myself in trouble but I don't want to say I was completely wrong, I don't think so."

Although video assistant referees have been introduced into the Premier League this season, there is now VAR in the Championship.

Bilic is not a fan of the system in its current guise, but he does think it's worth persisting with if it's going to get decisions correct.

"I'm not a fan of VAR in terms of I don't like double celebrations, I don't like disappointment in the crowd when a goal is disallowed, I don't like to wait two minutes, nobody likes it," said Bilic. "But that will be cut down, it needs practice and training.

"At the end of the day, what VAR brings is justice, truth, and it's fair.

"In the business of that scale and stage, when it's so important, when people are getting new contracts or the fans are going out tonight to enjoy, or people are getting the sack, it's very important.

"What we need is justice and fair decisions, and I was always the first one to say, it's impossible to see everything. They need help."

Just like Wednesday night, Albion needed a late Kenneth Zohore penalty to rescue a point and keep their unbeaten start to the season intact.

"It was a good game for the neutral," said Bilic. "But also it was a game with a lot of chances, good saves and controversial decisions.

"From my side, mixed emotions. I’m not happy with a point after every game, with respect to Derby. It’s not because I’m greedy. It’s because I believe in my team.

"On the other hand we were coming to a ground and to a team that in the last three games scored ten goals against us.

"I also know the quality of my guys and to be fair we helped them in the beginning. We weren’t there for the second balls, we weren’t aggressive enough.

"We allowed them to expose their qualities, but we let them have it whereas Bristol didn’t do a few days ago.

"We have to be better than that. We can’t start like we did against Forest, against Luton, you can’t start like this.

"At 1-0 down and with a long way to go - and we proved on the other hand our character, quality and everything, which was brilliant - it affects your game. If you concede the second it could finish 4-0.

"If the opponent was better, chapeau, well done. But don’t give them anything, they have to earn everything. They earned, but we helped them. Mixed emotions.

"There was quailty, character, impact from the bench...some of the guys started good and they continued good, but some of the guys picked up and they did it, to be fair."

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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