Slaven Bilic appointed West Brom head coach on two-year deal
By Rory O'Callaghan
Last Updated: 13/06/19 4:12pm
West Brom have appointed Slaven Bilic as head coach on a two-year deal.
Former Croatia and West Ham manager Bilic becomes the permanent successor to Darren Moore, who was sacked by West Brom in March and replaced by caretaker manager James Shan.
Bilic was first interviewed for the role last week and impressed Albion bosses enough to move ahead of Chris Hughton, Chris Wilder and Bruno Labbadia in the running for the job.
The 50-year-old returns to management after being sacked by Saudi club Al-Ittihad in February.
"I'm delighted with this opportunity of course," said Bilic, in a statement on West Brom's website.
"We want to improve, 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."
Bilic arrives at West Brom a month after the Championship play-off semi-final defeat to Aston Villa, and technical director Luke Dowling believes the Croatian is capable of guiding the Baggies back to the Premier League.
"We had the opportunity to ensure we conducted a wide range of interviews and were determined to take it," said Dowling.
"We have spoken to some outstanding candidates and I would like to thank them for their interest in the post.
"But from the moment we spoke to Slaven, we were struck by his enthusiasm and excitement about this challenge. He is determined to get back to the Premier League and believes passionately that he can do that with Albion.
"We believe he is a great fit for us - his presence, experience and management qualities are just what we need."
Bilic returns to English football for the first time since he was sacked by West Ham in November 2017.
In the 2015/16 season, his first in charge of West Ham, Bilic led the club to their best Premier League points tally in what was their final campaign at the Boleyn Ground, finishing seventh on 62 points and securing a place in the Europa League.
But he was unable to replicate the same success during the club's first season at the London Stadium, with West Ham failing to qualify for the Europa League group stage and flirting with the relegation places throughout the campaign before finishing in 11th place.
If reading on skysports.com, comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules. If you wish to report any comment, simply click on the down arrow next to the offending comment and click 'Report'.