Wigan Athletic 'were aggressive...and I liked it' - West Brom boss
The Baggies arrived with a six-match win streak, with Latics aiming for a first win in nine matches.
But it was the home side who were on top for the majority of an entertaining encounter, and unlucky not to come away with all three points.
Jamal Lowe had already been denied by a super save from Johnstone, who was then powerless to see Michael Jacobs smash against his crossbar, with Gavin Massey unable to make the most of the rebound.
West Brom managed to rescue a point on the hour mark when Jamie Jones was penalised for handling a backpass from Kal Naismith, leading to Charlie Austin netting from the subsequent free-kick.
Meaning Bilic - the former Croatia national coach - regarding it as a point gained rather than two dropped.
"I was not surprised in the positive way Wigan played - more surprised with the negative way we played," he said.
"But they are a good side, and I said this before the game to my players, they have been unlucky this season.
"They have good players, we came here last season and lost the game 1-0.
"This is not a good place for us over the years.
"Normally when we are 1-1 with five minutes to go, I'm always looking for the referee to come up with as many minutes as possible.
"Tonight, if you ask me, I say 'give us a point now'. And that gives great credit to Wigan."
Bilic also highlighted the 'aggressive' approach to the game Latics took - which he applauded, rather than took issue with.
"There were some situations before their first goal...for me it was a foul," he said.
"They were aggressive, they were aggressive...and to be fair, I like it, I liked it.
"I thought it was a very good performance from Wigan, and we'll take a point.
We have to be honest enough to admit we weren't as good tonight as we've been so far.
"And we have to give great credit to Wigan for the way they played.
"We didn't get big-time punished, so we have to take the point as a good one.
"They had a few chances, they hit the bar, our goalkeeper made a couple of great saves.
"But in none of our games so far have we had so few shots on goal.
"They had 14 shots, we had only six.
"That has never happened to us so far.
"It doesn't matter how well you're doing, if you don't start well - as well as you finished the last game.
"All credit to the Wigan boys, this is a good point in a difficult place to come."