Saturday 23 September 2017

Bilic warns West Ham against complacency after win over Huddersfield

Slaven Bilic said his West Ham players cannot get carried away
Slaven Bilic said his West Ham players cannot get carried away

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has revealed he called a team meeting on Thursday to deliver his players a reality check.

Bilic had been facing mounting pressure following three opening league defeats but Monday's win over Huddersfield earned him some relief and his side their first points of the season.

West Ham remain 18th in the table, however, ahead of Saturday's game at West Brom and, having granted his players the day off on Wednesday, Bilic warned them against complacency.

"We were off yesterday and we had a meeting before training today [to say] if we think that because we beat Huddersfield we have done it - no," Bilic said.

"The difference between great players and good players is doing it every day or every week.

"It's down to both them and us to keep them in that zone - not to fly too high or be big-headed - it's a massive part of every manager's job.

"But it's also down to them to be like that. We can't control what they do outside the training camp.

"They are mature people though and are in a privileged position which most normal people would swap to be in. They should respect themselves by respecting the job."

Andy Carroll's return has given West Ham a timely boost, the striker making his first appearance of the season on Monday after five months out with a hip injury.

The key now is keeping Carroll fit but Bilic rejected the suggestion made by former West Ham boss Alan Pardew that Carroll should even be excused from training.

"That is impossible," Bilic said. "It's about making a balance.

"There are some players, and Andy is one, that you have to find special treatment for.

"But that doesn't mean that he can't train the whole week. Most likely then he will get injured.

"On the other hand you can't treat him as you're treating a 20-year-old. You need to find a balance."

Bilic also moved again to clarify his relationship with David Sullivan after saying last week the club's owner "likes to talk".

Sullivan had claimed Bilic turned down the chance to sign Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Krychowiak in the summer.

"I only explained the situation that he put me into," Bilic said.

"We had a good conversation after Monday. We won the game and it was very important for us and he was also happy with our performance. You should call him and ask him how did he feel."

Mark Noble is out this weekend with a knee injury while Edimilson Fernandes and Manuel Lanzini are also unavailable as they recover from ankle and knee problems respectively.

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