Earlier in March, West Bromwich Albion sacked Darren Moore and appointed James Shan as a caretaker manager until the end of the last season.

The Baggies then appointed Slaven Bilic as their new manager in the summer and handed him a two-year contract.

With the new season now underway, the Croatian manager has spoken to his home country’s local press, where, among other topics, he revealed the club’s ambitions.

“To be honest, the club didn’t tell me we had to go back to the Premiership right away…” Bilic told Croatian newspaper Vecernji.

“Still, there is a big gap. West Brom lost a lot of players this summer. Among the bigger names are [Dwight] Gayle and [Jay] Rodriguez, who scored three quarters of our goals, and [Craig] Dawson and [Salomón] Rondon.”

After joining West Ham United in 2015, the Hammers sacked Bilic in 2017. He spent the  six months with Saudi Arabian side, Al-Ittihad before he was sacked from his post in February 2019.

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Bilici is further questioned if he can succeed with West Brom after being shown exit doors at the last two clubs.

“I think it’s a big myth that you can’t. People say ‘Ccan Messi do this on a cold rainy night in Stoke?’ Well, he scored more goals against English clubs than anyone else, but people are still talking,” he said.

“It’s the same here. Can you play your football in the Championship? Of course, you can. If you’re a footballer, you’re a footballer. Of course, some players do better in some leagues than others, but if the players agree, they will play better.”

Talking about his fear, Bilic stressed: “The fear is that managers are not given enough time. In the Championship, patience is notoriously weak, but these are the charms of football. 

“This league is unique in its intensity, the number of stadiums, the number of matches, everything that happens here because you just get lost in football here. And that’s what I wanted; this is the job I wanted.”

West Brom started the new season with a 2-1 victory over Nottingham Forest followed by a 1-1 draw against Millwall in the second league tie.