West Brom schedule gives Slaven Bilic headache for the run-in
Slaven Bilic has promised Albion will be ready for their crucial clash with Huddersfield tomorrow – but the boss admits he is not happy his team has had to play five games in just 13 days.
The Baggies know they will win promotion to the Premier League if they win at the John Smith’s Stadium and then go on to beat QPR at The Hawthorns on Wednesday.
But the decision by Sky to move tomorrow’s game forward 24 hours so it can be broadcast live means both teams have had less time to recover from their outings on Tuesday.
And Bilic doesn’t feel that is right when all teams have had to contend with a punishing schedule ever since football returned following the coronavirus outbreak.
“We are expecting what could be the most important week of our careers,” the head coach said. “We have to give everything and be ready.
“But I have to say I am not happy with are playing on Friday.
“I never like to moan but I am not happy with the schedule.
“Since the Hull game that was on Sunday, to Huddersfield on Friday, we play five games in 13 days.
“Other teams are playing five games in 15 days which is awful, which is difficult. But we have to do five games in 13 days.
“I’d like people to check because I don’t think that has ever happened before. Five games in 13 days, that is too much but so be it.
“I told the guys we have got to be more ready on Friday night than if the game was on Saturday. And we will be ready.”
Meanwhile, reports in the national press continue to suggest Albion loanee Grady Diangana is considering his long-term future at West Ham.
The 22-year-old has been a revelation ever since joining the Baggies on a temporary basis and has scored seven goals and registered six assists in 28 outings.
According to reports, Diangana believes it is imperative for his development that he continues to play regularly next season.
It is not yet known how he fits into the plans of West Ham boss David Moyes.
But the winger could be made available for another loan or even sold to help boost the Hammers coffers following the coronavirus pandemic.
Albion held talks over keeping Diangana loan next season when his original loan was extended in January.
It is understood the Hammers were open to that idea if the Baggies won promotion with the London side eager for the player to get top-flight experience.
But it is not known how they feel now with Diangana continuing to impress.
As well as Albion, Everton, Newcastle, Celtic and Ajax have also been credited with an interest in the forward.