Slaven Bilic hails impact of senior West Brom men
Head coach Slaven Bilic says Albion’s established players are a huge reason why his team gelled into a cohesive unit.
Last summer saw a major squad overhaul at The Hawthorns with 12 first-team players leaving the club and 10 arriving.
Bilic, though, managed to get the new-look side to gel quickly.
But he says established stars such as Jake Livermore, Chris Brunt, Kyle Bartley, Kieran Gibbs and Gareth Barry had a big role to play in helping the team to click – with those players making it easy for the likes of Matheus Pereira and Filip Krovinovic to settle.
“We knew that Krovinovic and Pereira were top players, top prospects who could make a difference in this country,” Bilic said when asked about Albion’s recruitment last summer.
“But we didn’t know if they were going to gel straight away – it was the same with (Semi) Ajayi and Romaine (Sawyers).
“Of course you see they are good players but you need to gel them.
“That’s why we wanted to keep a couple of them who are really essential.
“People like Jake Livermore, Kyle Bartley, Chris Brunt, although he hasn’t played a lot – he is Mr Albion. Gareth Barry as well. We made that really good.
“Then on top of that we wanted to promote a few young prospects from the academy but they had to be good – that is the key thing, they had to be good.
“All the ingredients were there. We knew we had a good a team and we worked, worked, worked.
“Buy why did they gel straight away? It’s because of their quality and those players who are from here. Jake, Chris, Gareth, Kyle and Gibbs.”