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Slaven Bilic praises West Brom's 'mature' performance

By Joseph Masi | West Bromwich Albion | Published: | Last Updated:

Head coach Slaven Bilic praised his players for maintaining their impressive performance levels after Albion secured a comfortable victory over Preston North End.

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic during the Sky Bet Championship match at The Hawthorn (David Davies/PA Wire)

Hal Robson-Kanu's tenth goal of the season and a Jake Livermore strike saw the Baggies cruise to 2-0 victory at The Hawthorns last night.

The result means the Baggies extended their unbeaten to six matches.

But it is in their last five outings that Bilic's side have been really impressive with the Baggies dominating the games against Millwall, Reading, Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and North End as they continue their question to the Championship.

"Yes, I am delighted," Bilic said when asked how pleased he was that his players are maintaining such high performance levels.

"Preston was a very mature performance, we were in control and played on the front foot.

"We knew who we were playing against a team that is usually very intense, maybe the team that is the best at transition.

"I admire Alex (Neil) his work and the way they play.

"They play on the front foot and are a very, very good team.

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"But we stopped them. We did to them what they were planning to do to us.

"Intensity, pressing, second balls and those balls that we won gave us the platform to get balls into the box and catch them on transition.

"That gave us a lot of situations to attack their back four with a pack of players and they couldn't cope with that.

"When we had that our difference in class was visible.

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"Throughout the whole game we were on them. That is the thing that pleases me the most.

"It’s not only this game. It's been for more than a few games now."

Albion opened the scoring in the sixth minute when former North End forward Callum Robinson set up Robson-Kanu with a fantastic pass into the box.

And Bilic hailed the 25-year-old's cross as "unbelievable."

"The ball was unbelievable," the head coach continued.

"The quality of that ball from that distance

"When you have players that are separated by just a yard or whatever. That kind of ball is like wow. Different class. And he meant it.

"And when you score that early, of course, it gives you confidence and a great platform to build on."

Bilic had a big call to make regarding who would play in central midfield against North End with Romaine Sawyers suspended.

He opted for Rekeem Harper who made his first Championship start of the season.

And the head coach was pleased with how the 19-year-old performed.

"He was, for me, always the first option," Bilic added.

"We had more players who could play that role, but he I wanted him.

"He responded great. It’s not easy for such a young player who didn’t play that many minutes.

"To have his first start against a team who is very good shows his qualities, but it also shows the quality of the team - that can help a new player gel.

"He was composed, good on the ball, he was tactically aware of the situation. I was very pleased for him.

"It was a great plus for us, to add another player without a question mark for the remainder of the season. It’s great to have him."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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