Slav sounds a warning


Tony Pulis encourages Crystal Palacebilic_main_3437996b-large_transpjliwavx4cowfcaekesb3kvxit-lggwcwqwla_rxju8Slaven Bilic has warned of the care and caution with which the Irons must approach today’s game against West Brom.

In an extensive summary of the opposition strengths the manager declared: “If you lose the balls in areas where you shouldn’t lose them against West Brom, they can be lethal.

A lot of people say that they have a very predictable and one-dimensional style of play but personally I don’t agree with that.

To me, they are a very versatile side. Of course, they are at their best when they sit back, soak up the pressure with numbers behind the ball and then counter-attack.

But at times I have seen them press as a whole team in the opposition half, 10 minutes into the game, and stay there for a couple of minutes, increasing the pressure.

They are very physical, they keep putting the balls in, they can be dangerous from set-pieces, and they have Salomon Rondon, who can hurt you by himself. They are a very good team, and the job that Tony Pulis has done is amazing.”

And discussing the defeat against Tony Pulis’ side back in September he added: “September was a bad month for us. We’d had a short pre-season, some players had been away at the Euros and returned late, and also a number of injuries.

“That day against West Brom, we made some individual mistakes, and some team mistakes, but it wasn’t because of a lack of preparation.

Yes, we are a different team now, because we have players who are fit and back. That is the key and why we have managed to climb into the top half of the table recently.

It doesn’t happen overnight to come back to that level, and it took us more or less a couple of months to find it. We have to maintain that now, work hard, stay clear of injuries and continue to improve.”

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Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!"

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