Slaven Bilic declared West Brom are “back in town” after a 3-0 win at Sheffield Wednesday breathed new life into their Sky Bet Championship promotion bid.
Charlie Austin’s first-half penalty gave Bilic’s side a huge lift and two efforts from Matheus Pereira in the second period sealed victory, which lifted them to within a point of leaders Leeds.
The Baggies had taken just one point from two games since the season resumed – two from their previous four matches – and lost to promotion rivals Brentford last Friday.
“I liked the performance you know,” Bilic said. “Everybody gave everything and that was expected, but you can crumble under the pressure, but we didn’t.
“It was not easy to play that game. There was big pressure on us and we responded like a proper, mature, quality team and that’s what I like about it.
“I’m really proud of the guys for tonight. Hopefully we are back in town.”
Bilic acknowledged his side rode their luck at times, particularly when Wednesday winger Kadeem Harris’ shot hit a post with the score at 2-0.
“We scored a second goal with really great movement and then that goal basically took all the question marks and little doubts (away),” the Baggies boss added.
“Then we started to play really, really good, let’s be honest with you.
“Still they hit the post, that was very important for our momentum, but basically after 2-0 it was more likely we would score a third goal than they would make it 2-1.
“It was a very good performance and a great three points of course.”
Sheffield Wednesday boss Garry Monk felt his side failed to cash in on the Baggies’ tentative start, but was adamant the scoreline was not a true reflection of the game.
“I think the first half was a missed opportunity for us,” he said. “They looked a bit nervous, but we didn’t quite take advantage of it.
“It is a very unfortunate scoreline. We gave it everything, but their freshness showed in the second half.
“It was definitely not a scoreline that we deserved.”
Monk gave assurances that all his players understood the situation surrounding their wages following reports that some had not been paid in full this month.
“All of that will be resolved and done properly,” said Monk, who added it had not been a distraction for his side. “Everyone inside the camp were totally understanding of it.
“It has been explained to everyone. We know that is being resolved and is not an issue.”
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