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West Brom: Sam Allardyce ‘hungrier than ever’ after taking over from Slaven Bilic

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West Brom manager Sam Allardyce speaks to his players
Allardyce visited the training ground before he spoke to the media on Thursday

New West Brom boss Sam Allardyce says he is eager to get started at The Hawthorns after succeeding Slaven Bilic as head coach.

The 66-year-old former England boss has been out of management since leaving Everton at the end of the 2017-18 season.

He takes over a West Brom side lying in 19th in the Premier League after the sacking of Bilic on Wednesday.

“I’m hungrier than ever and I’ve never had such a long break,” said Allardyce.

“I’ve never been so refreshed and eager. I missed it so much. This break went on so long I had lots of pent-up energy, and I need to expend it.

“Sometimes I go into a club and think ‘have I done the right thing’, but it’s all about striving for success. It’s that thrill of trying to get a team out on to the pitch and win.”

Allardyce, who has previously saved Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton from the drop, will start with a midlands derby against Aston Villa on Sunday.

“Most managers come in when the team is struggling,” he said. “You are only as good as your last season. I can accept the sack if I deserve it and I am bitter when I don’t. Nearly all the time I have had it, I didn’t deserve it.

“I must relish it otherwise there is no point coming back to do it.”

Baggies technical director Luke Dowling hopes that the arrival of Allardyce can kick-start their season.

“This year it is even more important to stay up. You can’t let games come and go,” he said.

“As a business we can’t act on emotion. We acted as professionally as we can. With Sam in the club, we feel we have a chance.”

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