Slaven Bilic hails 'good performance' as West Brom tame Tigers
Slaven Bilic praised Albion’s all-round performance after they battled to an impressive 1-0 win at Hull.
In a pulsating Championship encounter at the KCOM Stadium, both teams entered the game sitting top of the form table.
And with Albion eager to have the ball and Hull wanting to play on the counter, an intriguing tactical encounter unfolded.
In the end, a stunning strike from Jake Livermore - against his former employers - was enough to earn all three points for the Baggies.
But the hosts had their moments with Kamil Grosiciki missing a one-on-one and Jackson Irvine forcing Sam Johnstone into an outstanding stop.
“Credit to both teams - it was a good game, it was a game with two teams who came into it with confidence,” Bilic said.
“Both teams had a great run in the last few games.
“We expected it from them, they’re very good on transitions, the way they had their chance from Grosicki - it’s typical Hull.
We didn’t manage to get our full-back from the other side inside.
“Overall it was a very good performance from us, the only thing that was missing was that second goal.
“I don’t think we created too many clear cut chances, apart from one of Grady (Diangana).
We passed but we were just there. We needed that second one to finish the game like we finished at Stoke.
Because of the result, you are suffering until the end of the game because they’re risking more and more.”
Despite Hull chasing the game at home, Albion’s game management proved to be superb in the closing half-hour with the hosts creating very little.
“To be fair they didn’t create a lot later in the game - We managed the game really well,” Bilic continued.
“I said to the guys at half time that we had to manage it more maturely.
“Hull is a kind of team who you have to give them something for them to hurt you.
“You have to lose the ball, and not be in the positions that allows them to make the chances that Grosicki had.
“In the first half we gave them a couple of those situations, but at the same time we were able to pass the ball very fluidly in the first half.
“We had to continue that because you can’t defend and sit back for 45 minutes, but we had to manage the game a bit better.
“We were going to lose the ball, so we had to have enough numbers at the back to be ready to stop them from hurting us. That’s what we did in the second half.
“I’m very proud of the collective performance. It’s a clean sheet, 1-0, tough away game, very tough. The only thing missing was that second goal.”
Livermore’s goal came from a routine worked straight from the training ground with the midfielder powering in a spectacular strike from 25-yards.
“It was a great goal to be fair,” Bilic added.
“We’d done that a little bit in training yesterday, that move. It exploits the area that they don’t cover too much, in the corners, but that was half of the job!
“It’s not a chance when you receive the ball 20 yards from goal but his strike was magnificent. Not only that, his whole performance. A proper captain.”
Romaine Sawyers and Livermore will both now miss Albion’s game against Sheffield Wednesday after the international break with both players now on five yellow cards.
“It’s just a shame they got the fifth yellow,” Bilic said.
“It’s good at least that we have good time now to think about what we’re going to do for Sheffield Wednesday.”