West Brom boss Slaven Bilic says Baggies plight ‘a test for characters’

By Nick Mashiter, PA
·2 min read

Slaven Bilic insists winless West Brom have to rise to the challenge in order to end their Premier League drought.

The Baggies host Sheffield United on Saturday with both teams still yet to win in the top flight this season.

The pair have earned a combined total of four points from a possible 54 ahead of their clash at The Hawthorns.

Albion and the Blades – 19th and 20th respectively – are in danger of getting cut adrift but boss Bilic remains optimistic.

He said: “It’s not easy but when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This is a test for characters. It’s not easy to stay calm and positive. Maybe some people who don’t see inside are surprised I’m this positive.

“It’s about time to get the results as well, that why we have those positive moods at the training ground.

“For both teams, they are going to look at it as a good opportunity to get the first win and hopefully turn the page.

“It’s not like we are miles away from the result but on the other hand it means nothing because we have do it. We have to turn them into results. It’s about time to do that.”

Jake Livermore and Kieran Gibbs have tested negative for Covid-19 having picked up the virus earlier this month and while he declined to name them Bilic confirmed one is still feeling unwell and is unlikely to face the Blades.

Midfielder Sam Field has recovered from the virus but has been nursing a knee problem.

“I have to praise our medical team because a couple of weeks ago we had many cases with staff and players, maybe 15 cases, it was a high,” Bilic said.

“A couple of them didn’t play against Spurs and a few of them weren’t in the squad against Manchester United but it was good timing at least because it was international break.

“Thanks to our medical team and the players and staff who looked after themselves and all the tests on Monday were negative.”