Wednesday 21 August 2019

Bilic admits times are tough after West Ham are crushed at home by Liverpool

Under-pressure boss Slaven Bilic still believes he can turn West Ham's form around
Under-pressure boss Slaven Bilic still believes he can turn West Ham's form around

Slaven Bilic looked resigned to his fate as West Ham boss following their latest capitulation.

The Hammers' 4-1 home defeat by Liverpool once again left Bilic's future at the club in serious jeopardy.

Rumours emanating from the London Stadium in the aftermath of another dreadful performance suggest the Croatian's time is up.

Some reports even claim former Everton and Sunderland manager David Moyes is being considered to take over until the end of the season in a bid to drag West Ham away from the foot of the table.

Asked if he still felt he had the backing of the club's hierarchy, Bilic replied: "It's hard for me to talk about that now."

Quickfire first-half goals from Mohamed Salah and Joel Matip saw the hapless Hammers booed off at the interval.

Manuel Lanzini pulled one back in the second half - but their hopes of a comeback lasted all of 55 seconds before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain scored his first Reds goal.

Salah hit an exquisite fourth, and frankly it could have been seven or eight had Liverpool not taken mercy with some wayward finishing.

"There are two situations," added Bilic.

"One is that, of course, I believe in myself, my staff, my team, I'm a big fighter and I definitely don't feel a broken man. I'm very strong.

"On the other hand the situation for West Ham is not good and the club is above every individual, and that includes me.

"I know my values and if I'm anything I'm a strong man and a big believer in myself, and I'm the one taking the bullets all the time.

"But are we playing well? No, we are not. It's my duty, it's me that has to take responsibility."

However, for all West Ham's ineptitude, Liverpool were excellent as they banished the memory of their last trip to the capital, the 4-1 Wembley defeat by Tottenham.

The first goal was a devastating counter-attack which came from a West Ham corner, when Mark Noble's cross was headed clear and Salah clipped the ball to Sadio Mane before the duo charged upfield.

Mane was a surprise inclusion in the starting line-up having made a quicker than expected recovery from a hamstring problem.

The Senegal striker was certainly showing no ill-effects from the injury as he hared the length of the field before squaring for Salah to tuck away.

"I decided after just one training session to bring Sadio in from the beginning," revealed Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

"I've never done that before, but obviously it was not the worse idea I've ever had. Sadio is a naturally fit player, he is a machine.

"The first goal was a fantastic counter-attack, the second from a corner and that's two goals from set-plays in a week. We've had that before - but usually from the other team.

"Our response to their goal was outstanding, Oxlade-Chamberlain used the chance, and then brilliant play for the fourth.

"Games sometimes are not like this. Two weeks ago at Wembley I felt quite different and we have responded really well. We wanted to strike back and we have with really good results."

PA Media

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