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Slaven Bilic: West Brom made to pay for missed chances

The Baggies, fresh from an outstanding display against Derby, dominated the opening 45 minutes against Tony Mowbray’s side.

Charlie Austin twice went close before Filip Krovinovic finally gave them the lead with a volleyed finish in the 41st minute.

And it could have been 2-0 before the interval with Christian Walton making an excellent save to keep out a Jake Livermore effort.

Just minutes after the re-start, though, the Baggies really should have put the game to bed.

After Walton failed to hold a Matheus Pereira strike, the ball broke for Krovinovic.

But instead of the net bulging, the midfielder instead slammed the ball against the post.

And that gave Blackburn a lifeline with Joe Rothwell going onto put them level before a frantic end to the match where either side could have snatched the points.

“I think everyone sees it like that,” Bilic said when asked if the failure to get the second goal cost his team three points.

“We didn’t create a number of good chances, we created great chances.

“But unfortunately if you don’t score that second goal there is always a possibility – against a team with Blackburn’s quality – that you can concede.

“We did concede. After that, to be fair, we had a couple of chances but they had some great chances.

“That is a summary of the game.”

Having taken 10 points from a possible 12, Bilic said there are still plenty of positives heading into Tuesday’s crucial clash with Fulham.

But he admitted he wasn’t happy with how his players performed in the final 20 minutes at Ewood Park.

“That is what I have told the guys (that they can be positive),” Bilic continued.

“But I’m not happy with how we played the last 20 minutes after we conceded.

“After that going forward we were okay but we were always going to be.

“We lost shape, we stretched the game, the game became stretched too much and that is why they had those couple of chances.

“But up until then, as I said, I was very, very pleased with the performance. But you have to kill the game off and we didn’t.”

Since lockdown – and over the course of the season in general – Bilic’s subs have tended to improve Albion.

But Hal Robson-Kanu, Grady Diangana and Rekeem Harper all struggled to make an impact when replacing Charlie Austin, Kamil Grosicki and Jake Livermore respectively.

And Bilic explained why he made those changes.

“I wasn’t thinking about the games on Tuesday, no,” he added.

“If we were two up or three up then I would.

“Kamil was great, he was very good.

“But on that left-hand side we had so much space in that second half, it was the end “product that was missing.

“I thought Grady in the same position – with his quality, with his fresh legs – I thought he could use it to create something dangerous. That’s why I did it.

“With Jake, I just wanted a reaction, some fresh legs.”

Prior to the game, Brentford registered their seventh straight Championship win with a 3-1 victory over Derby.

That result means they are now three points behind Albion with three to play.

But Bilic doesn’t feel their win today – from a 12.30 kick-off, put more pressure on his side.

“It doesn’t make it easier of course,” Bilic added.

“But we were in a position – and we still are – where we only have to focus on our game.

“We have to concentrate on our game.”

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