(Reuters) – West Bromwich Albion have appointed former Croatia and West Ham United boss Slaven Bilic as their new head coach on a two-year deal, the Championship side said on Thursday.
Bilic, 50, returns to England after a five-month spell with Saudi Arabian side Al Ittihad, which followed his dismissal by Premier League side West Ham in November 2017.
The Croatian, who also played in England for West Ham and Everton, will look to guide West Brom back into the top flight after they missed out last season following a defeat in the playoff semi-finals by West Midlands rivals Aston Villa.
“We want to improve on the pitch and Albion have convinced me they want to return to the Premier League. Albion have a short-term project and a long project and they do not clash,” Bilic told the club’s website https://www.wba.co.uk/news/2019/june/albion-appoint-bili-as-head-coach.
“They wanted me to lead them, to help improve them. They made it clear they wanted me to be the one to lead them in this and I didn’t think twice once they had spoken to me.”
Bilic succeeds Darren Moore, who was sacked in March with Albion sitting fourth in the second tier. Caretaker boss Jimmy Shan guided them to a fourth-placed finish in the league and into the playoffs.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)