Express & Star

Matt Phillips signed new deal because he likes where West Brom are headed under Slaven Bilic

Matt Phillips signed a new three-year deal with the Baggies because he likes the look of where the club is going under Slaven Bilic.

Matt Phillips celebrates his goal. (AMA)

Phillips scored his second goal of the season on Saturday a day after committing to the club until 2022.

Afterwards, Bilic joked he started shooting because chief executive Mark Jenkins had included a goal bonus in the deal.

But Phillips says his form is down to the rejuvenated atmosphere at the club under his new head coach.

"I’m happy here," he smiled. "I’m enjoying my football. We’ve signed a top manager. We’ve got great lads in the changing room.

"There was no real persuasion. I’ve enjoyed my years here. There have been lots of ups and downs but I like the club and enjoying where it looks like the club is going."

Phillips spent part of last season out injured, but he's feeling stronger both physically and mentally now.

"I’ve worked hard over the summer," he said. "The second half of last season was a tough time for me but I worked with the physios over the summer and feel I’m getting back to my sharpness and what I showed at the beginning of last season.

"It was a tough time for me, mentally more than anything. I love playing football. I enjoyed the first half of the season. Injuries are part and parcel. I worked hard and got myself back."

Bilic has started Phillips in every league game so far, and he was impressed with his goal when the winger outpace and outmuscled Greg Cunningham.

"It was top movement from Phillips, a bit of physicality, he brushed off the guy, it was a great finish," said Bilic.

"He signed his contract and Mark (Jenkins) probably put in a bonus for the goals and assists! Before he didn't shoot so much, but now he is. Perhaps we should give him even more? "He's a player that's got everything. That goal shows you everything, it's physical, it's great technique. If you add to that his crosses, he's a top player.

"Of course, I expect it from him, he might not score every game, but he will have chances every game.

"He has to believe in himself, he has everything. He had everything at QPR. When I was at West Ham and we were playing West Brom, Matt Phillips was one of the major issues for us. "