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Interviews

Slaven's Derby pre-match press conference

23 August 2019

Slaven Bilić has spoken to the media ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship trip to Derby County (ko 12.30pm).

The Baggies are looking to make it three away wins in a row and continue their unbeaten start to the campaign at Pride Park Stadium, but come up against a Rams side who will be keen to bounce back after being defeated by Bristol City in midweek.

And the gaffer spoke about Albion’s opponents as well as how the short gap in between fixtures has affected the squad during his pre-match press conference - which you can watch above on WBA TV.

Slaven on recovery and morale…

“Today (Friday) is the day, two days after the game, where you feel the most fatigue.

“They (the squad) felt good yesterday, which is normal because they were still hyped from the game and all that, but today they’re probably going to be a bit flat in training.

“We wanted to give them one more hour of sleep because of the game. They’re going to report and  then train at 12.30pm instead of 11am.

“It is what it is. We don’t want to moan about it. We have a game tomorrow and we are ready for it.”

On team news…

“Kenneth (Zohore) said yesterday that he felt a bit of a calf straight after the game. He’s not sure if it was a kick, he doesn’t remember that he got a kick during the game.

“He has one old injury in that part. Nothing serious but I’ve seen many times in my career that they come two days after the game and they say ‘I feel something’.

“The situation is good, most of the players are available.

“We aren’t going to risk the players, especially in the situation when we have a big enough squad not to risk it… But we aren’t going to walk on eggs, we have a big game tomorrow and after that we have one week to prepare for Blackburn.

“Hal (Robson-Kanu) started training a couple of days ago. He didn’t train for nine days I think. He looks good… He’s still a little bit cautious, but he’s coming back.”

On Derby…

“They’re a big club. Last season they were almost there.

“I know them well because a few of my friends played there from the Croatian national team.

“They’ve signed (Wayne) Rooney for the second half of the season. Massive club, one of these clubs like we are and more than a dozen others in this league. It makes this league so interesting and so big to be fair.

“They lost a game at home (to Bristol City) that they didn’t expect. Nobody likes it (losing) away, not to mention at home. They are going to be more up for it, they will want to make it up for the loss at home on Tuesday.”


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