Darren Bent has warned new West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic that he faces one of the biggest tests of his managerial career in the Championship, speaking to Sam Matterface on talkSPORT (13 June, 12.30pm).
Bilic has returned to English football for the first time since he was fired by West Ham United in 2017, taking over at a West Brom side who failed to secure an immediate return to the Premier League last season.
Despite boasting arguably the most experienced and high-quality squad in the Championship, The Baggies finished fourth and were beaten by arch rivals Aston Villa in the play-off semi finals.
And Bent, who knows what the second tier is all about having spent a few seasons at Derby County, believes Bilic will have his work cut out at The Hawthorns.
“As long as he understands how hard that league is to get out of. It’s different to the Premier League,” said the former Aston Villa striker.
“Obviously he did a good job when he first went to West Ham, then it kind of went wrong. (The Championship) is so tough to get out of, it’s not always the best team that gets up but the most consistent.
“He’s got there early, he can get the type of players he wants to get in and that might help him.”
Bilic’s preference for a free-flowing, attacking style should go down well with West Brom supporters but, with Dwight Gayle gone and Jay Rodriguez expected to follow, it remains to be seen who he will rely on for goals next season.
West Brom also conceded 62 goals in 2018/19, the joint most in the top half of the table.
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