West Brom chief wowed by Bilic influence on Champ high-flyers

Date published: Tuesday 18th February 2020 11:14 - Jo Harrison

West Bromwich Albion chief executive Mark Jenkins insists the club are ‘fortunate’ to have Slaven Bilic as the club’s head coach.

The 51-year-old, who was appointed the successor of Darren Moore in June 2019, has guided the Baggies to the summit of the Championship table with 17 wins from 33 league outings.

Bilic returned to England for the second time in his managerial career after being dismissed by Saudi Professional League side Al-lttihad following a disastrous five-month tenure, winning only four of his 17 games in charge.

Since then, Bilic has revived West Brom into a stellar force, with the Baggies sitting four points ahead of second-placed Leeds United.

Jenkins, who was instrumental in the appointment of Bilic, believes the club have a manager with Premier League credentials.

He told the Express & Star: “You don’t want to speak about all the other managers you have worked with but Slaven is definitely one of the most engaging and personable.

“But after two or three months you really do think ‘How did we get him – why is he here and not at a Premier League club?’.”

Formerly known in England for his captivating spell as West Ham manager, Bilic has impressed in his first season at the Hawthorns.

The Championships highest-scorers with 59 goals and eye-catching talent in the likes of Matheus Pereira and Hammers loanee Grady Diangana, a return to the Premier League looks imminent for the West Midlands club if they can keep up their form.

West Brom travel to fellow promotion chasers Bristol City next on Saturday, with Albion looking to compile the misery on Lee Johnson’s side after their shock 3-1 defeat to Birmingham City last time out.

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