Slaven: ‘Players who took us top remain the key’

Slaven Bilić says there is no magic formula to get Albion out of the mini-slump which has checked their promotion progress.

The Baggies were left gridlocked by a Stoke City performance in which the visitors grabbed the game’s only goal after just nine minutes and then hung on grimly against an endless wave of Albion attacks.

Slaven admitted his team lacked the quality in the key areas to end a winless streak of six games - but that his squad are still the key to Albion’s Championship prospects.

“Unfortunately, there is no magic formula to make everything right again,” he said.

“But there is no point moaning or feeling sorry for ourselves or running off into little corners to grumble. No.

“We have to find the answer by facing up to what is going wrong and with hard work, commitment and dedication putting it right. That applies to me, my staff and the players.

“Do not forget. These players have not had great results for six games - but they are still top. That shows how good they have been and what they are capable of. They are the key to this issue.”

The Baggies were beaten by Tyrese Campbell’s strike after a fortuitous rebound which summed up a bad night for Albion who lost Grady Diangana less than four minutes into his comeback because of more hamstring trouble.

The Baggies boss says his side must now dig deep.

“The effort was there and the guys gave their best in terms of effort, but it wasn’t quality enough. We lacked that quality. We didn’t have that fluidness with the ball. We didn’t make the right decisions.

“We had the highest amount of possession and the highest amount of crosses so far but they simply were not good enough. Either the cross or the reaction in the box was lacking. We had 16 shots and only two on target. If you have that, you can’t expect to get something from the game.

“It didn’t start well. First with Grady, secondly with the goal. We knew they were good in transitions and we lost the ball. The guy on the right used the transition. We were a bit unlucky with the block from Hegazi that went back to him as well. 

“There was plenty of time for us to react. We didn’t have the patience or the bravery to play with dangerous balls and be risky. We were playing all in front of them. In the second half, we improved and we were there in their final third, but even when we had opportunities to shoot, those shots were not good enough.

“So we lose the momentum. We lose the quality. We have to admit it. We don’t have that fluidness to the game that we had so far in the season. It’s for a few games now. I said to the guys, there is no magic formula for that. We have to work hard, dig in and be together.” 

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