04 November 2019 04:41
Swansea City and Leeds United climbed above West Brom with wins on Saturday, but Bilic's side can regain top spot with a win at managerless Stoke. The Potters have had a dismal start to the season, sitting bottom of the division with just two wins from 14 and without a boss after sacking Nathan Jones on Friday. But Bilic isn't taking anything for granted and had fired a warning to his players not to underestimate the ailing Potters. "I haven't come across anyone who is a little bit thinking that it is going to be an easy game," Bilic told the club's official website. "I don't want to and I haven't heard anything about it being an easy game.
"Stoke is a massive club. They are not a massive club that said 'let's be okay in the league and wait for a few years' - they were there to fight for promotion. "They have improved. What is significant for us is they have picked up points against the teams that are in better form than they are. They picked up the points against Swansea and against Fulham at home.
"That is a big warning for us that we absolutely have to be good in every aspect of the game, and that is it." Stoke will hope to draw a line under the Nathan Jones era as they host West Brom on Monday. Jones was sacked by the Sky Bet Championship bottom side on Monday after a disappointing 10 months in charge. The former Luton boss left the Potters five points adrift of safety after collecting just eight points from 14 games this term. Rory Delap, Kevin Russell and Andy Quy have been placed in temporary charge of first-team affairs until a replacement is appointed. The club have already seen Preston boss Alex Neil decide to stay where he is. Their immediate on-field task is not a straightforward as they take on a Baggies side hoping to move into the top two with a victory. Captain Ryan Shawcross, who has not yet played this season due to injury, told the club's website, www.stokecityfc.com: "A lot of work has gone on at the training ground so now it's up to the lads to go out on the pitch and, with the fans behind us, we'll hopefully get a win. "The fans have been great in the situation. Many other fans at other clubs would have turned but they've been right behind us even when the results and performances haven't been there." West Brom are hoping to get back to winning ways after draws in their last two outings. Manager Slaven Bilic told the club's website, www.wba.co.uk: "Everybody is surprised with Stoke's league position. They are surprised and we are all surprised. "I haven't come across anyone who is a little bit thinking that it is going to be an easy game." Get the biggest Weekday Stoke City FC stories by email Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Could not subscribe, try again later Invalid Email Tony Pulis is not coming to Stoke City - not tomorrow night at least. Pulis was wanted by Sky to commentate on tomorrow night's televised match between two of his former clubs when Stoke host West Brom. But the veteran Welshman thought better of it, given the current circumstances at Stoke, and instead he ended up in Norway this weekend commenting on the Premier League to Norwegian viewers. As for his prospects of replacing Nathan Jones, for what would be his third spell at the club, they appear less than healthy at the moment. There is not believed to have been any contact from Stoke towards Pulis since Jones was fired on Friday morning. But his name is certain to remain on their hit list, somewhere, as the club's hierarchy considers its various options. They have included the much-publicised interest in Preston boss Alex Neil which prompted yesterday's controversy when North End issued a statement accusing Stoke of an illegal approach for the 38 year-old Scotsman. Their statement also insisted there were no circumstances in which Stoke would be given permission to approach their manager. Neil, meanwhile, travelled south by train with his players yesterday afternoon in readiness for today's lunchtime kick off at Charlton. StokeonTrentLive has launched a WhatsApp service dedicated to keeping you up to date with the latest Stoke City news! Click here to join and follow the instructions on your phone. Your number won't be shared with anyone else in the group. If you want more information on signing up, or if this link doesn't work, click here.