Slaven Bilic set to be sacked despite West Brom’s draw at Manchester City | West Bromwich Albion

Slaven Bilic looks set to be sacked by West Brom on Wednesday, despite his side battling for a precious point at Manchester City.

Albion secured a 1-1 draw at the Etihad on Tuesday but speculation swirled around the stadium that the 52-year-old was set for crunch talks at the Hawthorns.

Bilic will be the first managerial casualty of the Premier League campaign as the Baggies look to inject some life into their bid for top-flight survival.

Nigel Pearson and Sam Allardyce are already being touted as his successor with Albion unlikely to pay compensation for a Bilic replacement. The former Croatia manager was out of contract at the end of the season and, although his side will take encouragement from Tuesday night’s draw at City, there have been reservations over the style of play and results.

Asked about the speculation at the Etihad Stadium, Bilic said: “I’m very calm. I love my job. I’m here and calm. To be fair, I’m not bothered. I’m doing my job. I’m enjoying it. I’m working hard for myself, for my staff, for the players, for the club, that’s all. Everything else is out of my control.

“But to be fair, I’m just doing my best. I don’t think about other things. I’m not really that bothered what’s happening behind the scenes and all that, I don’t care.”

Semi Ajayi (second right) put in a wonderful defensive display for West Brom. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Asked if the result showed West Brom were still playing for him, Bilic said: “I do not like that cliche.

“The players are playing for themselves but they are listening to our gameplan and it’s really good to see your players fighting like this. We are having this kind of atmosphere, this working atmosphere, throughout the whole season and it didn’t drop. Sometimes you win games, sometimes you lose them, sometimes you play better and sometimes worse, but we never had a problem with attitudes.”

Bilic’s relationship with the West Brom board has been up and down since promotion to the Premier League and reached a new low in October when Albion sold Ahmed Hegazi.

The manager hit out at the deal, suggesting the club had broken promises over the Egyptian defender, as he was allowed to join the Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad in a £4m deal just 24 hours before their trip to Brighton.

At the time, Bilic said: “I’m very disappointed with the Hegazi departure because I was assured this week he was staying… he was meant to play today, he’s a top professional, he had to wait for his chance but because of his know-how.

“I counted on him big time, to lose him on basically Sunday morning, yesterday morning find it out, makes me really disappointed.

“Definitely it wasn’t my decision, it wasn’t a football decision, I’m very disappointed we’re a team that needs all our good players.”


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