Slaven Bilić has called for a “very serious” approach from everyone associated with the Albion to Saturday’s clash with in-form Wigan Athletic.
The Baggies’ fixture with the Latics sees two of best-performing sides in the Sky Bet Championship since the turn of February go head-to-head, with Albion taking 16 points from the last 18 on offer and Wigan losing just one of their last seven games – winning their two most recent matches without conceding a goal.
And Slaven was keen to highlight Wigan’s impressive resurgence in recent weeks rather than their lowly league position ahead of their visit to The Hawthorns.
Bilić said: “The game against Wigan – that is all we are focused on.
“I want to say that we are not playing a team which is at the bottom of the league or near the bottom of the league. Their table position says they are, but the last six or seven games proves different.
“We are not talking about a week or two weeks, we are talking about the last six, seven weeks.
“We are playing a team that is in good form, full of confidence and they have won four of their last seven games.
“They are number two and we are number one in terms of the form. They would be right behind us if the table was down to form.
“It’s a very difficult one. At the same time, we are first in the form table and we are playing really well and we are back at home.
“That doesn’t change what we want to do. What I am saying is that everybody who is connected to West Bromwich Albion has to approach Saturday’s game in a very serious way.
“It is our plan to carry on winning games. We are in a good mood and in a good run of games.
“We are playing well and picking up the points. We are doing what we wanted to do.”
Saturday’s game will be Albion’s third of the week following victories away at Bristol City and at home to Preston North End.
And the boss believes it’s crucial to have strength in depth for a number of reasons.
“It’s crucial to have a squad not only when you have game after game around Christmas time, but it’s important all the time.
“For team selection, for the competition in training and to push each other.
“The guys are confident, but they are also hungry.
“They know they have to deliver week-in, week-out and in every game and every training session to keep their spot.
“At the same time, they shouldn’t be afraid to express themselves and take risks when the time is right.”