Romaine Sawyers: Slaven Bilic has everyone’s respect at West Brom
Romaine Sawyers believes Slaven Bilic commands a respect from Albion's squad that you don't often find in football.
After being released by the club in 2013, Sawyers rejoined the Baggies at the beginning of the 2019/20 campaign following three successful years at Brentford.
And the 28-year-old went on to play a key part in their promotion to the Premier League with the midfielder ending the season with the Championship's best pass completion rate.
It is Bilic, though, who masterminded the promotion. And Sawyers says there isn't a single player in Albion's squad who has a bad word to say about the head coach.
"With everything he (Bilic) has achieved in football, the respect is already there," Sawyers said.
"When he talks you listen and I think everyone will vouch for that in the dressing room.
"He is one of those managers that nobody has a bad word to say about.
"I think Barts (Kyle Bartley) has touched on it in the past.
"Even players that aren't in the squad or aren't playing – there is nobody who will say a bad word about him.
"Anyone who has been in football will know that when a player is out of the team they tend to be critical of the manager. But I don't think 'SB' gets that at all."
A boyhood Baggies fan, Sawyers has always dreamt of representing Albion in the Premier League.
And says he's had a great working relationship with Bilic from the moment they met.
"I first got a call from him and he said I want you to come and play for me – how do you feel about that?" Sawyers said.
"He knew the ties I had with the club, but I don't think he knew how deep they ran.
"So when he said that it was music to my ears.
"Then when I first met him, most people when you meet them you shake hands. But he hugged me.
"And from there we have had a relationship where we speak as good as daily.
"There are times when I stay after training when I go and speak to him or when he pulls me aside.
"We have got a great working relationship.
"He is passionate about football. I am passionate about football.
"He wants the club to go in the right direction and I want it to go in the right direction for many personal reasons.
"I think we've come together at a good time in my career, he's has been great for me."