West Brom boss Slaven Bilic: Hal Robson-Kanu deserves his chance

Albion boss Slaven Bilic says that Hal Robson-Kanu ‘deserves’ his run in the starting XI.

Hal Robson-Kanu celebrates his goal against Bristol City
Hal Robson-Kanu celebrates his goal against Bristol City

The 30-year-old has scored five goals in his last seven games, including a strike in Albion’s last two fixtures against Sheffield Wednesday and Bristol City.

The former Wales international has started the last three games and Bilic says he has earned his chance.

“Both of them (Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin) have scored in the last couple of games,” he said.

“There’s also Kenneth (Zahore) there who has basically done nothing wrong.

“It’s impossible for all of them to play.

“Hal waited for his chance.

“For a long time he was almost tagged or labelled, even before I came here, as a impact player. But he deserves his chance, he’s waited a long time.

“He was coming from the bench good, then we put him in the team and he’s done really well since then.

“At the moment he is starting and he deserves it.

“It’s our luxury, like in most of the clubs, that you have two or three good strikers and we have that because they’re the most important ones.”

“At the moment we have that because they are the most important ones.

“They’re the most important because they’re scoring goals, and thank God that they are at the moment.”

With a fully fit squad at his disposal, Bilic was forced to leave several first team players out of the squad that beat Bristol City on Wednesday night.

Chris Brunt, Kenneth Zahore, Conor Townsend and Rekeem Harper are some of the names that missed out and Bilic has urged for them to wait for their chance.

“It’s a nice problem but it’s not nice to tell them that they’re not in the first XI, or even worse they’re not in the squad,” he said.

“That’s a killer one.

“As I said, my job is to manage the team and to respect them, and ask that they respect the team and my decisions.

“And to wait for their chance. That’s it.

“They all know that, and to be fair I’d rather be in that situation than one where you have to improvise a lot.

“Put it this way, I would rather be in the situation where both the left-backs are available.

“(Kieran) Gibbs and Conor (Townsend), than to be in the situation like against Derby where both of them got injured.

“Then you have to find Nathan Ferguson to play on the left side.

“Then for a couple of games you don’t have any problems.

“Everybody you have is in the squad and it’s like happy families.

“But it’s not good on the pitch then, you need the competition.

“We are treating all of them with respect.

“They are good players, they’re all here for that reason, but only 11 can play.

“But every one of them will play.

“They have to be ready for the call.”

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