Express & Star

Matheus Pereira is a showman in training but effective in games

Matheus Pereira may try nutmegging his team-mates in training – but on the pitch he doesn't waste time being a showman.

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Matheus Pereira. (AMA)

That's according to Slaven Bilic, who sung the praises of his Brazilian midfielder after an impressive full debut for the Baggies.

Pereira set up two goals in 3-2 victory over Blackburn Rovers and flourished in the No.10 role behind Charlie Austin.

And while he may have all the tricks in the book, Bilic was pleased with his simple yet effective passing.

"In his first training he was trying nutmegs but he's not a showman, he wants to penetrate, play those passes and run into the box," said Bilic.

"Before this game he had maybe 90 minutes all together. He had maybe seven shots, which is good for a midfielder, and today he's in the box. We expected that from him, and he gelled straight away.

"He's confident on the ball, he's happy in the pocket, then when he turns he sees everything, he likes to pass, and get into box.

"He's a player. I knew him from Germany last season. He wanted to come here and only here, it took the club six weeks to sign him, we managed.

"He doesn't mind defending, ok he doesn't love it, but we're going to make him love defending."

Pereira's incisive passing, particularly in the first half, was exactly what Albion had been missing in their first few games.

But another one of Bilic's attacking changes also paid off, with West Ham loanee Grady Diangana scoring an outrageous solo goal.

"Grady took the goal great, that's why we wanted him. They are both great talents, they love to stay after training. Lets not get overwhelmed, but we are happy.

"I am pleased, because it's a first home win. We have an international break now, it's great.

"We've just finished the first cycle from June. We went to Spain, hard training and all that sweat.

"We're six games unbeaten, have a first home win, and now we have a few days off to recover physically but more than that, mentally. It's a good feeling really."