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Slaven Bilic: West Brom win was best performance of the season

By Joseph Masi | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Slaven Bilic felt Albion's performance in their win over Swansea was their best display of the season as his team ran riot to secure a 5-1 victory.

Slaven Bilic head coach / manager of West Bromwich Albion. (AMA)

An outstanding individual display from Matheus Pereira - who scored one and had a major hand in the other four goals, saw the Baggies return to the top of the Championship.

Swansea headed to Black Country as the only team in the EFL still to lose away from home this season.

But they had no answer to Albion's quality with Semi Ajayi, Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips and Kyle Edwards joining Pereira on the score sheet.

"We’ve had a few good ones, QPR, but yeah, you have to agree," Bilic said when asked if the performance against the Swans was the best of the season so far.

"Take into account everything, the results, the chances.

"To be fair, they are a team that were unbeaten so far away from home.

"Basically, we knew and we prepared for them.

"They’re good on the ball. They don’t just keep the ball to frustrate you - they can hurt you.

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"They want to play on a big pitch and they’re not afraid to pass it, so you have to defend well.

"We are physically better than them, and if we can cope with that - then, you know, we’re good on the ball.

"We have patterns, quality, and everything. Apart from the goal, and a few set-pieces, it was all us."

Pereira's performance was so good it drew comparisons to the great Laurie Cunningham from some fans.

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And Bilic too was delighted with the Brazilian, with the head coach praising the 23-year-olds all-round game.

"Everybody likes players who are good on the ball," Bilic continued.

"I like it. Is it a young (Luka) Modric in Croatia, is it (Manuel) Lanzini, is it (Dimitri) Payet?

"There is always enough room for those players on the pitch who are good on the ball, on one condition - they work hard.

"Of course, Pereira’s forte is on the ball, but how many balls did he take today? Or the last game? Or the game against Charlton where he basically played two positions when we had 10 men?

"He’s also working, not just on the ball, he’s working real hard.

"On the ball we knew what he can do. To get Pereira into situations where he can turn and release those balls or strike, you need players to invite the players on to you to release pockets for him - like Jake (Livermore) or Romaine (Sawyers), and the full-backs."

The only disappointed for Albion on the day was that both Kyle Bartley and Kieran Gibbs came off injured against the Swans.

Gibbs pulled up holding his hamstring while Bartley suffered a cut to his cheekbone.

"Kyle got a cut - it’s quite big," Bilic added.

"He needed stitches. They’re already talking about a mask or whatever.

"Unfortunately, Kieran felt not only tightness - he felt something there. The good thing is he wasn’t sprinting, so it’s not a big big one.

"He was excellent, but we don’t know until tomorrow or the day after, when they make a scan.

"Hopefully, I’ll say it’s going to be a couple of weeks, to be fair."

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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