Monday 20 January 2020

Slaven fits the Bil' for Albion hot seat

Slaven Bilic
Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic feels he is the right man to lead West Brom back to the Premier League.

The Baggies have turned to former West Ham boss Bilic to replace Darren Moore, who was sacked in March.

The 50-year-old has agreed a two-year contract with Albion, who reached the Championship play-off semi-finals last season.

"I'm delighted with this opportunity of course," said Bilic.

"We want to improve, we want to improve on the pitch and Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project and they do not clash.

"They wanted me to lead them, to help improve them. They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this, and I didn't think twice once they had spoken to me."

Bilic, who has also managed his national side Croatia, lost his job at West Ham in November 2017 after two-and-a-half years in charge.

He guided the Hammers to seventh in his first season but left with them struggling in the relegation zone and was replaced by David Moyes.

Albion, relegated from the Premier League in 2018, say they conducted a "thorough and exhaustive interview and selection process" as they searched for the right candidate to lead them back to the top flight.

Technical director Luke Dowling feels Bilic is the perfect 'fit' for the Hawthorns hot-seat.

Dowling said: "We had the opportunity to ensure we conducted a wide range of interviews and were determined to take it.

"We have spoken to some outstanding candidates and I would like to thank them for their interest in the post.

"But from the moment we spoke to Slaven, we were struck by his enthusiasm and excitement about this challenge. He is determined to get back to the Premier League and believes passionately that he can do that with Albion.

"We believe he is a great 'fit' for us - his presence, experience and management qualities are just what we need."

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