West Brom head coach Slaven Bilic has warned his Championship-topping team to be more ruthless after they survived a scare to beat Cardiff 4-2.
The hosts led 3-0 until the 75th minute but substitute Danny Ward’s brace pulled it back to 3-2 with five minutes to go before Romaine Sawyers scored the Baggies’ fourth in added time.
Charlie Austin also netted his maiden league goal for West Brom after first-half strikes from Matheus Pereira and Grady Diangana.
Albion showed the midweek defeat at Leeds was a blip with their second successive 4-2 home win.
Cardiff striker Robert Gladzel had an effort disallowed for offside before Austin scored, with Ward setting up a grandstand finish.
Bilic said: “I am pleased and it was a great performance for 70 minutes. We produced some breathtaking football.
“But there is a ‘but’ because in this league opponents never give up and we have to manage the game better at 3-0.
“The team that needs a fourth goal that leads 3-0 with 20 minutes to go, there is something wrong in that last 20 minutes.
“Why not finish the game at 3-0 or 4-0? Afterwards I criticised the players but also told them they should be proud.
“It’s early days but we have something really good to build on.”
Pereira made two and scored one and Bilic was delighted with his contribution.
“That is his position (number 10). He played in a relegated team (Nuremberg) and produced some good performances,” he said. “He is obviously a good player.”
As for Austin, Bilic said: “I told him at half-time ‘I don’t care if you score or not because the way you are playing meant Grady and Matheus were benefiting’.”
Cardiff manager Neil Warnock criticised the decision to disallow Glatzel’s effort which would have made it 2-1.
“Even their lads said it was a good goal,” said Warnock.
“Sean Morrison was in an offside position but he flagged quickly, rather than wait like they have been advised, and then he said to the referee ‘number four is offside’.
“But then the ref should have seen the number four was not interfering and it should have been given.
“You expect things like that to be right at this level.
“Even for the first goal, the ball comes out from our defence, the guy clearly pulls his shirt, and he goes on and the centre-half clatters him – never going for the ball, you can see he wasn’t looking – so I am disappointed the fourth official didn’t intervene because Graham Salisbury is an experienced ref.
“They were both fouls so overall we feel hard done by. We could have caved in at half-time but we didn’t, we came back.
“I said, ‘we’ve got 2,000 fans here, so we’ve got to hang in there and give them something to shout about’ and I thought we did that.
“Danny Ward took his goals well and could have had a hat-trick so they know they have been in a game.
“Their front three probably had a spell of 20 minutes where they were the best we’ve played this season but then in the second half you could see the vulnerability of them.”
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