Slaven Bilic plots Baggies’ Premier League return


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Slaven Bilic is back in English football and hopes to return to the Premier League before too long.

The former West Ham boss has signed a two-year deal at Championship side West Brom, who missed out on an immediate return to the top flight after losing to Aston Villa in the play-off semi-finals.

Bilic left the London Stadium in November 2017 and is back in the UK after a short spell in charge of Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad.

He said on starting work at The Hawthorns: “We want to improve on the pitch and Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project and they do not clash.

“They wanted me to lead them, to help improve them. They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this and I didn’t think twice once they had spoken to me.”

The Baggies, after eight seasons in the Premier League, spent most of last season challenging strongly for a quick return.

Darren Moore left the club in March and caretaker boss Jimmy Shan kept them in the play-offs, finishing fourth in the table.

Bilic, before taking charge of West Ham, also had a spell managing Croatia, having made 44 appearances for his country as a player. He led his national side into two European Championships, in 2008 and 2012.

The Baggies have pre-season games arranged away to Scunthorpe and Rotherham before Bilic’s first game at The Hawthorns against Premier League side Bournemouth a week before the Championship season starts.

West Brom are priced at 11.00 to win the Championship next season and return to the top flight, with Leeds 6.50 and Cardiff 11.00.

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