Slaven Bilic swerves obsession with first win as Baggies bid to build belief

By David Charlesworth, PA
·2-min read

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic is refusing to push the panic button despite his side’s winless start to the Premier League season.

Bilic admitted on Friday the Baggies are in a “gunfight” after collecting just three points from their opening seven matches as they attempt to defy those who tipped them for an immediate return to the Sky Bet Championship.

The Croatian felt they had turned a corner in drawing against Burnley and Brighton recently but last Monday’s defeat at Fulham leaves them in the bottom three ahead of the visit of high-flying Tottenham on Sunday afternoon.

Speculation may be building about Bilic’s future in the midlands but he recognises there is still plenty of time left in the season to turn around their fortunes.

“Every game gives us the opportunity but let’s not be obsessed with a win,” Bilic said. “Did Sheffield United or Burnley win (last week)? No. We don’t need to get six points in the next couple of games.

“But what we need is a better performance than against Fulham, we need to build on Burnley and Brighton.

“The better we play, the more chances we’ll have to get to that first win that will make the guys more relaxed in a positive way and give them more belief.”

While West Brom are languishing in the lower reaches of the table, Tottenham are batting away suggestions of being title contenders having gone unbeaten in the league since the opening weekend of the season.

The form guides of both sides would indicate West Brom have their work cut out but Bilic pointed out his side were moments away from beating Chelsea in September, when a last-gasp goal secured a 3-3 draw for the Blues.

Bilic – who has no new injury concerns, with only long-term absentees Sam Field (knee) and forward Hal Robson-Kanu (broken arm) unavailable – said: “We are playing against a top side.

“Are they better than us on paper? Of course they are. But Chelsea were also better than us on paper and we were very close to getting three points in that game.

“We need a response and are we ready for that? Yes.”