Slaven Bilic enjoying life as West Brom boss

He Had a good feeling about Albion from the moment he sat down with the club’s board.

Slaven Bilic head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)
Slaven Bilic head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion (AMA)

And now – six months into the job – Slaven Bilic says life at The Hawthorns is meeting all his expectations.

The 51-year-old was appointed Albion boss back in June following an extensive consultation process.

Since then he has helped oversee a squad overhaul and built a team that has reached the top of the Championship by playing some breathtaking football.

And the former West Ham boss admits he is pleased with how he has settled in the Black Country.

“I liked it here when I came with West Ham,” the Croatian said.

“I remembered the stadium.

“I knew it was an old-fashioned club but in a good way, it’s a family club and I like those values.

“They (the board) called me and we made a deal in a couple of hours.

“I didn’t know it was going to be like this but I had a good feeling.

“I like our training ground. I like that it smells of grass.

“It’s not a five-star hotel, but it is clean and you have everything you want.

“It (the club) is exactly how I imagined it and exactly how I wanted it to be.”

During the summer Albion lost a host of players who helped them finish fourth in the Championship last year.

Jay Rodriguez was sold to Burnley while loanees Dwight Gayle and Mason Holgate returned to Newcastle and Everton respectively.

And in an interview with former QPR boss Ian Hollway, Bilic revealed what targets the Albion board gave him in the summer.

“There was a big question mark because we changed or lost, whatever, 11 players,” the boss continued.

“So of them were very important. Not only Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle who scored the goals.

“They got 46 goals between them, from 82, it’s hard to replace that.

“But the other guys too, like Harvey Barnes, like Holgate, like (James) Morrison.

“But the club and us were very good at keeping the players we wanted to keep and adding some fresh, young and energetic players.

“The plan of the club was to make the squad a bit younger and to try to get back (to the Premier League) in two or three years or – if possible – straight away.

“But it wasn’t imperative and, so far, we have done a good job.

“The club has done a good job in the transfer window. And the new players have clicked straight away.

“We wanted to get players who are really good on the ball, but also reliable and responsible to play in both ways, in both parts of the game.

“And we want to be as young as possible, as British as possible but to also to have a bit of quality.

“We have started well. We have a good team.”

  • Watch the full interview below and on Sky Bet's YouTube channel

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