Former West Brom boss opens up on ‘sad’ departure from Hawthorns and ‘honour’ of managing club December 18, 2020 – Posted in: Soccer
Slaven Bilic has expressed his disappointment at leaving West Brom but wished his old club all the best in their battle for Premier League survival.
The Croatian was dismissed by the Baggies on Wednesday, with his last game in charge a very creditable 1-1 draw at Manchester City a day previous.
During his year-and-a-half tenure at the Hawthorns, Bilic led the club back to the top flight at the first time of asking last season, but seven points out of a possible 39 this term has proved his undoing.
“I am hugely disappointed to have left West Bromwich Albion,” the 52-year-old said in a statement.
“I am honoured to have managed this unique football club with full commitment and integrity.
“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to all the players, my hard-working coaching team and our dedicated staff.
“I am incredibly proud that we secured automatic promotion from the Championship in our first season.
“It was a real shame to not have our loyal supporters there with us during that moment and upon our return to the Premier League.
“In what has been a really difficult year for so many, those special fans have stood alongside us throughout it all.
“My staff and I are grateful for having had the privilege to serve them. They would have enjoyed some of our excellent performances where the team showed how much they wanted us to succeed.
“Ultimately, I am sad that it hasn’t worked out in the way we wanted. But I leave with my head held high, along with some wonderful memories that I will always cherish.
“I’m sorry that I cannot say goodbye to you all properly at The Hawthorns. I genuinely wish the club well for the future.”
West Brom are second from bottom and two adrift from safety, with new boss Sam Allardyce tasked with keeping up his impressive record of never getting an English top-flight side relegated.
Bilic’s managerial record at club level (all competitions)
Hajduk Split (2001-02) – Win ratio – 65 per cent
Lokomotiv Moscow (2012-13) – Win ratio – 41 per cent
Besiktas (2013-2015) – Win ratio – 52 per cent
West Ham (2015-17) – Win ratio – 38 per cent
Al-Ittihad (2018-19) – Win ratio – 18 per cent
West Brom (2019-20) – Win ratio – 40 per cent
Speaking to talkSPORT in his first interview since being appointed Baggies boss, Allardyce said: “I hope I can have the same influence at West Brom that I have had at many other clubs, Sunderland, Blackburn, even Everton, and Crystal Palace,” he said.
“It is the type of jobs people look out for me to try and do and that is what I recognise now.
“West Brom had a fantastic last season and were promoted but just can’t find a way to win, My motive is try to get them to do the right detail, change the small things that might get them that victory.
“Slaven is a great guy, I know him, but it is what it is when the board make a decision and I am here to try and save West Brom and keep them in the Premier League for next season.”