Wednesday 16 January 2019

Bilic feeling the heat but adamant he will not walk away from West Ham

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic knows he needs results
West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic knows he needs results

Slaven Bilic insists he will never walk away from his job as West Ham manager.

Bilic has come under heavy scrutiny following his side's poor start to the season, which worsened with a 3-0 defeat at home to newly-promoted Brighton on Friday.

West Ham's fans booed throughout the loss at London Stadium, with their team now sitting 16th in the Premier League table and only above the relegation zone on goal difference.

Two of the four clubs below them have already sacked their managers after Frank de Boer and Ronald Koeman both paid the price at Crystal Palace and Everton respectively.

If West Ham are to follow suit, however, it will be the owners that have to pull the plug as Bilic says he would never resign.

"[I am] never, never, never walking away. I never walked away in my life," Bilic said.

"It is my job and a job I like to do especially in a place that I feel, after my home town, is like few other places, you are treated special. I played here and all that.

"Do I need it? Let's not be that, how can I say, that black. It is a great job."

West Ham made some high-profile signings last summer including Joe Hart, Javier Hernandez, Marko Arnautovic and Pablo Zabaleta, but the team have failed to gel so far.

"You ask me about Koeman, there are always three, four, five managers in those positions and I'm definitely one of them," Bilic said.

"Does it make me lose my focus? No, it gives you even more. I never gave up in my career, no matter in which way of life, as a parent, as a friend, as a manager.

"That's my biggest strength, to be strong in hard times. Now I'm having a hard time, yes I am. That doesn't scare me."

West Ham face in-form Tottenham at Wembley in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday before a crunch match away to fellow strugglers Palace this weekend.

Bilic spoke with the club's co-owner David Sullivan after their latest defeat and accepts results must improve.

"He's been backing the team, backing me, but of course we were talking about situations," Bilic said.

"I didn't need the chairman to tell me. He didn't tell me where we are because he also knows I know.

"It was no different to any other. It's not like a monologue. We were talking about the situation and we agreed we have to get points very, very soon."

West Ham's players held their own meeting at the training ground on Monday in an effort to turn their form around.

"I know about that of course," Bilic said. "First I had a meeting with (captain) Mark (Noble). Before that I had a long meeting with my colleagues.

"Then they had a meeting which I find very positive. We also know the situation. It is serious."

Andy Carroll is available again to face Spurs as he is back from suspension but Michail Antonio is out with pain in his ribs.

James Collins and Diafra Sakho have recovered from ankle and back injuries respectively but are still regaining match fitness.

Press Association

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