A manager’s ability to spot what is and isn’t working at a vital stage of a game is crucial, and Slaven Bilic proved himself to be a master of this skill on Saturday
With the score at 1-1 with 15 minutes to go, the West Brom manager made three substitutions in the span of six minutes that would alter the game for the Baggies, with Charlie Austin hitting the post shortly after coming on and eventually scoring the winner from the spot.
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And as you can see from West Brom supporters on Twitter, the late substitutions were viewed as the turning point for the Albion in what was to be a massive 2-1 win for Bilic’s side…
Bilic’s subs made us better again!! Love him! #wba
— Lewis Botfield (@lewis_botfield) November 23, 2019
— Baggies Facts (@Baggies_Facts) November 23, 2019
— Craig Dutton (@cdutts) November 23, 2019
Indeed, Bilic’s plan to introduce fresh legs later on in the match with the flow of the game in a set direction was an ingenious move from the former West Ham manager, as the arrival of the eventual hero Austin as well as Chris Brunt and Gareth Barry tipped the game in West Brom’s favour completely.
As stats from WhoScored show, Brunt and Barry were highly active in the final 15 minutes of the match against Sheffield Wednesday, with the duo managing a pass accuracy of over 90% as well as the Northern Irish winger winning a corner for West Brom.
Austin will, of course, be heralded as the hero of the game for his astonishing impact off the bench, yet the other two substitutes played their part in securing what was to be an incredibly important result for West Brom, and Bilic yet again proved to be able to make the right call at the right time for the Baggies.