Bilic: We were one moment of quality away from winning

Slaven Bilic felt his side were one moment of quality away from securing a deserved Premier League victory at West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

West Ham United were a dominant force at The Hawthorns, where they enjoyed two-thirds of possession, created more goal attempts than their hosts, hit the crossbar through Pedro Obiang’s long-range curler and restricted the Baggies to one header on target.

But while his team were well-organised and rarely threatened, Bilic was disappointed that they failed to create and convert the clear-cut chances required to turn one point into three.

“It hasn’t been a great game of football, but we were solid again and limited them to one chance in the game, which was James Morrison’s header,” said the manager. “Especially in the second half, we were dominant and much better than them and coming into those really good areas, still keeping the shape and all that.

“To be fair, we looked to get more and that was three points and you have to say the quality in the last third was missing, either with a cross or a reaction from a cross or something, or when we had good one-on-ones in the last 20 minutes, when they opened a little bit.

“We needed one of our players, especially our wide players one-against-one in wide positions, to do a bit better, but I have no complaints. It’s been a good week for us. We were hoping we would get three points, but to get another clean sheet and a point away from home, you can’t be too negative about it.

“Of course, we are not going to be raving about this game but, let’s be honest, this week has been good for us and, as I said, it’s another clean sheet, another solid performance and we looked very concentrated for the whole 90 minutes as a team, knowing what to do, no matter where the ball was.

“We were attacking and counter-attacking and, at the same time, when we were losing balls, we were stopping them from counter-attacking us, so there were a lot of positives.”

To be fair, we looked to get more and that was three points and you have to say the quality in the last third was missing

Slaven Bilic

The one big talking point of the game came midway through the second half, when Chicharito poked Andy Carroll’s flick-on past Ben Foster outside the Baggies penalty area before being brought down by the England goalkeeper.

Bilic initially felt Foster should have been sent-off but, on reflection, felt referee Paul Tierney was justified in not producing a red card.

“To be fair, it looked to me to be a red card, but when I saw it again I can’t blame the referee,” the manager observed. “He didn’t do anything wrong there because of two things – one, Foster wasn’t last man because two players came behind, Evans and Hegazi, and second, that challenge was mistimed and it wasn’t that brutal, so fair enough.

“Fair enough, it didn’t have to be red, but a lot of times I’ve seen red for that, especially when you play at home, to be fair.”

The manager was also asked for an update on the condition of James Collins, who was helped from the pitch after suffering what has been initially diagnosed as ankle ligament damage.

“It was a very strange injury,” Bilic confirmed. “It happened in the first half and then maybe, because it was warm and it wasn’t a very important ligament in his ankle, he continued to play.

“Then, twice after that he felt it, but after the third one, no matter how brave he is, it was impossible to continue. Now, we’re going to scan it of course and see, but it is an injury.

“On the other hand, we have hope because he could continue, because it happened in the first half.”