Slaven Bilic has insisted that it’s easier to be sitting in the play-off places rather than in the automatic promotion places, with 13 games remaining this season.
The Baggies have enjoyed a hugely impressive campaign in the Sky Bet Championship under Bilic, and continue to lead the way ahead of the likes of Leeds and Nottingham Forest heading into March.
Albion have recovered from a blip that saw them win only one of out nine games between the start of December and the end of January, winning three out of their last four matches.
West Brom sit four points clear at the top of the table and seven points clear of third-placed Fulham, and have already faced Leeds and Forest both twice this season.
But speaking to Birmingham Live, Bilic insisted that the pressure is on his team to perform, and that it is easier to be the chaser rather than being chased in the race for promotion.
He said: “There is no point talking about the gap or Leeds. We have to approach things game by game. Game by game and that’s it.
“It is much easier to be third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh than first or second. They are dreaming. If you read about Forest, they are dreaming they are hoping to get in the top two.
“But when you are top two you have to (win promotion). That is a pressure you have to cope with. It’s easier with everything you do to be average. But if want to be best journalist, the best actor, the best surgeon it takes sacrifice.
“Of course you wouldn’t swap, of course you wouldn’t, but it is easier. If you go to Forest website or any team chasing us, it’s always about them dreaming about something.
“Dreaming, hoping. Brentford hoping, this one dreaming. Third is dreaming, the second one has to [achieve promotion]. It is like that but nobody would swap. They would swap with us.”
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The Baggies face promotion rivals Bristol City at Ashton Gate this weekend, and the Robins should prove to be a tough test for Albion with Lee Johnson’s side sitting just outside of the play-off spots.
I’d be inclined to agree with Bilic here – there is still a lot of pressure on the Baggies to perform and they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas at any given stage.
They are only seven points clear of third place, so two defeats could see them really drop like a stone if others captailise.
They still have some tough tests ahead, but it’ll come as a relief to know that they have already played Leeds and Forest this season.