Baggies have set the bar for required performance level – Slaven Bilic

West Brom manager Slaven Bilic wants his team to take a positive mindset to Old Trafford
West Brom manager Slaven Bilic wants his team to take a positive mindset to Old Trafford (PA Wire)
10:00am, Fri 20 Nov 2020
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West Brom manager Slaven Bilic feels his side have set the bar for the performance level which will be needed to get a positive result at Manchester United.

The Baggies were within a couple of minutes of holding Tottenham to a battling goalless draw in their last match before the international break – only for England captain Harry Kane to grab a late winner.

Bilic, though, believes the players can take great heart from pushing Spurs so close and just need to stay focused on what has got them this far.

“It is the bar set, but they are humans, they will have their ups and down,” said Bilic.

“But I said after the Spurs game that, in a positive way, that should be our standard.

“I was talking about togetherness, organisation and patience, mentality and the team spirit which we had. It was a real positive front-footed mentality and awareness.

“The players are going to have better days and less better days, but this has to be our standard in managing the games for all of the 90 minutes.”

West Brom head to Old Trafford still in search of a first win since promotion and out to avoid what would be a third straight Premier League defeat.

United have lost three out of four home league games this season – including being overrun 6-1 by Spurs – and are yet to secure a victory.

However, Bilic rejects suggestions the trip to an empty Old Trafford is now perhaps not as daunting as it once was.

“Still they are Man United,” the former West Ham boss said.

“They didn’t start the season like they wanted to, especially at home, but even at home they still had some really top performances like against Leipzig.

“They are a great squad with some great individuals, they are looking to make their first win at home.

“As a club, recently, we have been doing really good at Old Trafford and I have a pretty good record, considering it is Man United, with West Ham.

“Every game is difficult, especially for us because we are (Premier League) newcomers – but this is still Man United away. If you see their roster, it is massive.”

Bilic wants his team to take a positive mindset into the game.

“It is also a big opportunity for us,” said the West Brom boss, who expects to have Branislav Ivanovic, forward Matheus Pereira and Callum Robinson all available following their absences due to positive Covid-19 tests.

“But first we have to do what we did against Spurs and against a few others – to make it hard, to try and penetrate, to keep the ball, to be resilient, to have numbers behind the ball when needed and to keep them far from our box.

“That is our plan, whoever we play against.

“We know what they have in their locker. We know they have pace, quality, they can score from midfield.

“We have to be on top of our game, but we are ready.”

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