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Slaven's side have set standard

27 November 2019

Slaven Bilic says his team have set a standard he will demand they maintain following the 4-1 demolition of Bristol City.

The Baggies jumped back to the top of the table after a performance which delighted The Hawthorns and opened a seven-point gap to third place in the Sky Bet Championship.

Yet again, the goals were spread around the team as the returning Keiran Gibbs, Matheus Periera, Hal Robson-Kanu and Charlie Austin hit the target.

"The only negative for me is that we did not score more goals and I say that with all due respect to Bristol City," said Albion's Head Coach.

"They are a tough side who had only lost one previous away game and two all season. This was a very good opponent we were facing.

"But from the first minute to the last, our game was everything I could ask for and I must say 'well done' to all the players.

"We were finding the spaces and the pockets to create the chances and, as I say, I am only disappointed we didn't score more goals from so many chances."

And on a night when his creative stars lit up the game, Slav was particularly pleased with his team's defending after establishing a 2-0 half time lead.

He added: "There was a seven minute spell at the start of the second half when they came at us as they had to.

"But we defended properly - with headers and blocks. We dealt with their corners. That is what I like to see. It was defending with real meaning."

He chose to make four changes from the team which had beaten Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday, with full backs Nathan Ferguson and Gibbs returning while the midfield axis of Romaine Sawyers and Jake Livermore was restored.

But he said: "I told the players who did not play they were not dropped. But we have a good squad and we should make good use of it.

"The full backs have to play with a lot of energy and it made sense to use Nathan and Kieran. Nathan makes us that little bit more solid without losing too much going forward while Gibbs is a midfield player at full back.

"We go to Preston now and that has been made more difficult because of their defeat and to have this squad available to us."


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