Slaven Bilic praises Watford's character after crucial West Brom win

Getty Images

Swede Len Sema scored twice, including a heavily-deflected winner that came off Albion defender Erik Pieters, with Ismaila Sarr supplying their other goal. Bilic said: "Ken is a very good player and a top player. He is a dream for any manager, he can cover four or five positions. "We want him on the wing because it is not coincidence that we were struggling to score goals when he was out for two months. You want your key players on the pitch. "We created a lot of chances against a very good team so hopefully we will stay clear of injuries." Albion improved dramatically in the second half and twice drew level, first through Conor Townsend and then Jed Wallace. Wallace appeared offside for his goal, but luck deserted Carlos Corberan's side when Pieters' deflection foxed goalkeeper Josh Griffiths in the 78th minute. Bilic said: "It's nice when it ends like this, when you show character and quality to come back. When it was 1-0 it was more likely for us to score the second one, not them equalise. "We had so many spaces in the first half, especially on the left side. The only thing that wasn't good in the first half was the result - we should have been 2-0 up. "In the second half they had an extra man in midfield and we adjusted to it and showed great character, determination and quality - we deserved to win this game." The win lifted Watford up to fifth and left Albion, who had surged up the table after Corberan succeeded Steve Bruce in October, in 10th. It was also Bilic's 200th game as a manager in English football and his first against Albion since they sacked him in 2020, months after he had led them to promotion to the Premier League. Bilic said: "West Brom were extremely under-achieving at the start of the season and were unlucky. Carlos brought them back, which is not easy in such a short time."

Corberan lamented his side's failure to get a grip on the game in the first half. "We wasted the first 45 minutes when we didn't play," he said. "We didn't have the commitment to play the game but in the second half it was the opposite. "We decided what we had to do - attack. But when you score one goal you have to protect what you have done. We didn't show solidarity in defence. "We needed to be more compact. It is true when you are losing you need to take risks but when you score it is the opposite. "If we had played for 90 minutes the way we played in the second half we would not have lost the game. "I am the one who decides the game plan but when it doesn't work you have to change things. "In the first half maybe we didn't have the level of confidence that you need to have. "We need to analyse the chances that we conceded. In previous games the goals we conceded were from set-pieces and we didn't concede as many as we have tonight."

The article Slaven Bilic praises Watford's character after crucial West Brom win appeared first on