Bilic hails West Brom star a ‘class act’ but wants him to earn starting spot

Date published: Monday 16th December 2019 10:53 - Harry McMullen

Slaven Bilic has called striker Charlie Austin a ‘class act’ after the West Brom forward’s double from the bench saw the Baggies return to the top of the Championship. 

West Brom were 2-1 down against Birmingham City before Austin came on – bagging two goals to turn the tide in the West Midlands derby.

Austin scored with his first touch, sweeping a half volley in to the top corner from the edge of the box to pull the visitors level.

Austin then found space in the box, nodding home an excellent cross from Darnell Furlong – celebrating in front of the travelling West Brom fans.

Bilic sang the praises of the former Southampton man post match.

He said: “The first goal is pure class, the second goal, some may say it was an easy finish, but his movement to get away from the defender is class”

“The ball was good and he doesn’t miss those chances.

“It is great when you strikers are scoring. Charlie has scored six in five, Hal is scoring goals, and you can’t beat that.”

Charlie Austin has been playing second-fiddle to the Wales striker Hal Robson-Kanu but Bilic has told Austin to bide his time.

He explained: “I am sure he would rather start but it’s great to have that kind of a player.

“That is what Hal was doing for a few games as well. He came off the bench and scored against Stoke, Middlesbrough away and a few other games.

“Now Hal has got his chance and deserved it. But it is impossible to play with one striker and in every club you have to share it around.”



The Baggies now have a two point advantage over promotion contenders Leeds United who threw away a three goal lead at home to Cardiff on Saturday.

Bilic credited his side’s composure in front of goal.

He added: “That belief comes from recent games, so you have confidence, you don’t have to rush, just play your football, and this game will also help.”


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