Bilić calls for consistency from “improving” Baggies

Slaven Bilić says he’s “quite happy” with his unbeaten Albion side but admits they are an “improving” work-in-progress.

The Baggies will be looking to extend their positive start to the season when winless Huddersfield arrive at The Hawthorns under new boss Danny Cowley on Sunday (ko 12noon).

Bilić has called on his players to find the consistency required to succeed in the Sky Bet Championship and is adamant they can not take the Terriers, who were in the Premier League just last season, lightly.

“I’m quite happy, I don’t hide that,” said the Croatian. “There are a few good things like being unbeaten. We’re on a good run and we’ve been playing good football.

“We’ve played well in all of the games but not for all of the 90 minutes. We are confident, we have a couple of injuries and that’s not ideal. We’re missing both of our left-backs, although Nathan [Ferguson] is covering that and has done unbelievably well.

“The competition is really good in every area and we are gelling into a good team. I’d like us to be more consistent but it takes time, it takes more training.

“I’ve seen improvements, I’ve seen improvements offensively and defensively. We have conceded a goal in every game we have played but in both phases of the game we have improved.

“When we attack every player has a task, and I’m happy with the way we are defending as a team. We have to be compact and solid. The transitions are good and we have improved at defensive set-pieces.

“There has been a lot of improvement and the lads are enjoying it. We all want, of course, to enjoy the whole season and to do that you have to sacrifice, you have to stay on the ground, you have to stay humble and work hard.”

Huddersfield have not won since February but Bilić says the Baggies must be wary of Sunday’s visitors.

He explains: “They haven’t won for 19 games altogether if you count the Premier League. We can’t expect that they will have sky-high confidence like Swansea. It’s normal for every club, Real Madrid do not have high confidence now and they are all world-class players.

“Are they on a good run? No, they are not. But they are a massive club who played last year in the Premier League. They have changed their manager and they have some really good players.

“They have been a little unlucky and they are going to be very motivated. They are fighting for their lives, although we are still in the early days. Nobody likes to be there.

“We know their situation but we have to not think even that it will be one per cent easier. No, it’s going to be even harder. We must not underestimate them.

“We must be double motivated. We have to be on top of our game.

“The problem with football is that you drop your efforts, standards, approach, or attitude by 10 per cent the chances to win the game don’t drop by 10 per cent, they drop massively, to like half. Then you need luck and it’s never good to rely only on luck.”   

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