Slaven Bilic ready for West Brom promotion challenge
Last Updated: 24/06/19 8:09pm
Slaven Bilic says he is ready to lead West Brom's promotion bid to the Premier League after taking charge of the Championship side.
The 50-year-old Croatian manager is back in English football, two years after being sacked by West Ham.
"It feels great to be back in English football with West Bromwich Albion," Bilic said at his first press conference. "I would like to thank the club for giving me this opportunity.
"It was my wish to come back and manage in England. Managing in the Championship was one of the challenges I wanted to tick off my list."
West Brom had been without a head coach since James Shan's run as caretaker boss ended with a Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final defeat to Aston Villa.
Shan took over from Darren Moore in March, after he was surprisingly dismissed with Albion fourth in the Championship at the time.
"It means a lot to be here," Bilic added. "This club is a massive club because of the history and the fans. It's a traditional family club, and the fans are very loyal.
"It's not easy to play here at the Hawthorns. It's a ground where the fans can really help you. I felt the atmosphere in the play-offs watching at home. It was bouncing. Buzzing. It's proper football."
And though the Championship may be a step down from life in the Premier League with West Ham, Bilic said: "My passion for football does not come and go.
"It doesn't depend on the level you are working at. This is my job and I will do my best. I'm going to be me."