West Bromwich Albion supervisor Slaven Bilic wore each attainable emotion on his face on a nerve-shredding night time of pressure on the Hawthorns as his aspect secured promotion to the Premier League.
Bilic knew something apart from victory over Queen’s Park Rangers may permit Brentford to sneak into the runners-up spot behind Leeds United. As it turned out, a 2-2 draw was sufficient as Brentford had been overwhelmed at residence by Barnsley.
West Brom’s hopes of avoiding the ordeal of the playoffs, wherein they fell last season, had been wavering when QPR took the lead, then once more when the guests levelled it up.
At 2-2 and with Brentford drawing 1-1, they had been strolling a tightrope, however news of Barnsley’s winner supplied respite for a frantic Bilic whose team has been within the high two just about all season however have struggled because the restart following the three-month COVID-19 shutdown.
“What a season, what a league,” Bilic said after having fun with the celebrations on the pitch. “I was very vocal when I said I would always like to manage in the Championship because it’s especially difficult. I never imagined it would be this difficult, this demanding.
“It’s exhausting. I didn’t enjoy every minute of it, of course, but with a finish like this, the results at the bottom, the (Nottingham) Forest situation, it’s unbelievable.
“I’m proud of the whole club.”
Bilic said he was urging his aspect to attain one other purpose late on, earlier than occasions elsewhere modified the state of affairs.
“I was told it is 1-1 (at Brentford) in the 85th minute and I said: ‘I don’t believe, I can’t rely on that, we have to try and score,’ When they told me it was 2-1, then I told them to go back. I didn’t believe (Brentford) would score two.”
While there was pleasure for West Brom who gained a fifth promotion to the highest flight, it was despair for Brentford who had closed a 10-point hole on Bilic’s team and appeared like incomes automated promotion earlier than consecutive losses.
They will meet Swansea City who extremely crept into the playoffs on purpose distinction with a 4-1 win at Reading mixed with a 4-1 residence loss for Nottingham Forest towards Stoke City.
“Football is 80% suffering and 10% joy,” Brentford supervisor Thomas Frank said. “We need to go again and pick ourselves up. We will have a sleep and then be ready to fight again.”