West Brom head coach Slaven Bilic is not getting carried away with thoughts of automatic promotion after his side returned to the top of the Sky Bet Championship by thrashing Swansea 5-1.
Goals from Semi Ajayi, Matheus Pereira, Hal Robson-Kanu, Matt Phillips and Kyle Edwards gave West Brom their biggest win of the season and extended the gap to third-placed Fulham to 10 points.
Sam Surridge had pulled one back to make it 2-1 but the outcome was never in doubt.
Despite West Brom’s healthy advantage, Bilic is aware there is plenty of time for his team to be caught.
“Without other teams making a miracle, and without us dropping down, how many games do you need to close a gap of 10 points? Ten games,” said Bilic.
“There are 26 games to go, so basically they have two-and-a-half times to do it.”
Pereira had a hand in all five goals as Albion made it six straight wins, 10 games without defeat and 16 home league matches unbeaten.
Bilic compared on-loan Sporting Lisbon playmaker to some of the great talents he has managed, including former Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric.
“Everybody likes to play with young players who are good on the ball,” he added.
“Is it Modric when he was a kid in Croatia? Is it Lanzini? Is it Payet? But it’s not enough. There’s always room for good players if they work hard.
“I’m praising the team – to get Pereira into those positions, he needs the whole team.”
Swansea lost the only remaining unbeaten away record in the Championship.
Manager Steve Cooper said: “It was self inflicted and naive, and because of that we got what we deserved.
“The scoreline says it all. It was a difficult day and self inflicted for large parts.
“If you’re going to be as naive as we were with the goals, you’re asking for trouble.”
Swansea have won just three times in 15 games and Cooper wants to see a reaction at home to Blackburn on Wednesday.
“What we need to do is respond in the right way,” he said. “I’ve said to the players we’ve got one option and that’s to put it right on Wednesday night.”
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