West Brom manager Slaven Bilic left facing the axe

BREAKING NEWS: Slaven Bilic left facing the axe with talks with West Brom hierarchy planned despite guiding side to valuable point at Manchester City… and Sam Allardyce is among the candidates to take over

Slaven Bilic was left facing the sack by West Brom last night despite a spirited 1-1 draw against Manchester City.

The Croatian praised the fight of his players after holding firm at the Etihad Stadium but is set for talks with the club’s hierarchy following a shaky start to the Premier League season.

Sportsmail reported last Thursday that Bilic’s job was under serious threat, with the weekend defeat by depleted Newcastle United doing nothing to dampen relegation fears.

Slaven Bilic was left facing the sack by West Brom last night despite 1-1 draw at Man City

Slaven Bilic was left facing the sack by West Brom last night despite 1-1 draw at Man City

The Baggies have won just one of their opening 13 matches back in the top flight after Bilic delivered promotion last season.

Sam Allardyce and Eddie Howe have both been mooted as potential replacements for the Croatian, whose comments about defender Ahmed Hegai’s recent departure did not endeared himself to the club’s board. Bilic was particularly frustrated at a transfer budget of just £20million over the summer.

The 52-year-old said last night: ‘I’m very calm. I’m doing my job. I’m not bothered about that. We showed tonight – I can’t be more proud of what my team showed. The other things are out of my control and I’m not bothered.

‘I’m really proud of the boys. We asked them to work hard, to frustrate them and to wait for our chances and we’ve done everything.

‘We helped each other and we counted of course on (goalkeeper) Sam Johnstone. But that’s what you need when you come to Etihad if you want to get anything from the game.

‘Every point counts. For me it would mean more than a point, the knowledge of what we have to do now in every game. If we go like crazy and fight for each other then we are going to have a good chance [of staying up] no matter how we play.’ City manager Pep Guardiola was frustrated by his team’s inability to score, with Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling both missing late chances to secure three points.

‘It is a setback,’ Guardiola admitted. ‘The chances weren’t that clear. We cannot score goals. It’s difficult for managers to find solutions. You don’t have to be so clever to notice that the margin is a bit away from two years ago. We are struggling a little bit more.’

source: dailymail.co.uk