Saturday 1 October 2016

Adrian: We need to adapt

Published 17/07/2015 | 22:36

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, pictured, is ready for a different style of play under new manager Slaven Bilic
West Ham goalkeeper Adrian, pictured, is ready for a different style of play under new manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham goalkeeper Adrian knows the players must prepare themselves to do things very differently under new manager Slaven Bilic.

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The Croatian was appointed as replacement for Sam Allardyce earlier in the summer following a somewhat frustrating end to a campaign which had started with such promise, as the Irons slipped back down the Barclays Premier League table.

Bilic has seen pre-season preparations stepped up earlier with Europa League qualifiers after the east London club were handed a place in the draw via the UEFA Fair Play League.

Having comfortably beaten FC Lusitans of Andorra both home and away over the first round, West Ham were made to work hard for a 1-0 victory over Maltese Cup winners Birkirkara with a scrappy late goal from defender James Tomkins at Upton Park on Thursday night.

Allardyce often came up against criticism from some West Ham supporters for a perceived negative approach.

Despite the obvious frustrations of not everything going to plan just yet on the pitch, with several players still to be involved, Adrian believes there have already been signs former Hammers defender Bilic will stamp his own mark on the side.

"We have changed a lot of things," the Spanish goalkeeper said.

"Now, with this manager we play a more passing style, (the ball) quick to the side and to put the cross in, players going forwards, starting with the defence to create our game.

"It is a different style, so we need to adapt to the new manager and the new manager needs to adapt to the team, to get a strong squad and to be perfect when we start the Premier League."

Adrian added: "They are different persons and each person is different with different qualities - Sam Allardyce had good qualities and now it is (Slaven) Bilic.

"It is different - another style to play and other things."

If as expected West Ham come through next week's second leg in Malta, which follows friendlies against first Southend on Saturday and then at Colchester on Tuesday night, they could potentially meet Scottish Premier League side Inverness in round three.

While the group stages of the Europa League remain some way off, Adrian knows by the time West Ham start their confirmed Premier League opener at the Emirates Stadium on August 9, the squad will be ready for the challenges ahead.

"Now we are in the second round, if we finish in Malta, there will be another, and there are four rounds, but this is good training for us," he said.

"Everyone else (in the Premier League) is in pre-season, but we have important, competitive games so we can start the Premier League at a high level.

"I prefer these type of matches, there is more pressure and we need a good result, sometime in a pre-season game, there is not the same motivation.

"It is good to have some more games in the Europa League so we need to keep going and be ready for the start of the Premier League and to stay at the high level.

"These games before (Arsenal), they are official games, we have pressure, we are playing in a full stadium so it is a good test for us.

"We want this, to be at the maximum level (at the start), but to keep going throughout the Premier League."

Press Association

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