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Sunday 23 April 2017

Bilic: I prefer face-to-face talks with Hammers chiefs rather than through media

Three straight defeats have left Slaven Bilic under pressure
Three straight defeats have left Slaven Bilic under pressure

Slaven Bilic says he would prefer to talk face-to-face with West Ham chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan rather than through the newspapers or social media.

Gold regularly uses Twitter to discuss club matters while Sullivan issued an apology to fans on the Hammers' official website following the defeat to Leicester a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, newspaper reports claim the West Ham board are weighing up potential replacements for under-pressure boss Bilic, with the likes of Roberto Mancini, Rafael Benitez and Jaap Stam recently linked with the role.

Bilic would no doubt rather that, like the majority of club owners, Gold and Sullivan kept a lower profile.

But he insists he is strong enough to deal with working for the duo and says it comes with the territory of managing West Ham.

"I have a good relationship with both of them," he said. "I talk to the chairmen, not on a daily basis, but after every game. Then I talk about some issues during the week.

"But I don't talk to the chairmen through the papers. You know what I mean? We have a direct line and we talk.

"They are locals, they are West Ham, they talk to the papers, Twitter, Instagram, this one, that one.

"I am okay with that. I am a really strong person and I have no problem with that.

"Don't get me wrong, it would be ideal - I wouldn't love that to be in the papers. But there is something in between not liking it and being worried about it, and I am not worried.

"I am 48, I've been in football a long time and the position was always very demanding, and that makes you strong."

The speculation surrounding Bilic has intensified after three straight defeats, leaving the Croatian in desperate need of a positive result at Hull on Saturday.

But Bilic, who still has a year remaining on his contract, maintains he is relaxed about his future.

"Nothing has changed in the last few days," he said.

"I just concentrate on my job. I am totally focused on the next game. That (speculation) does not worry me. I am not reading it or making phone calls or whatever.

"I was saying the same when, for example, earlier in the season when we were talking about a new contract. I was not bothered then, when it was positive.

"Now after three defeats there is speculation. I have a game on Saturday."

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