Thursday 26 April 2018

Bilic uncertain of West Ham future after humiliating defeat to Brighton

Slaven Bilic faces pressure after defeat to Brighton
Slaven Bilic faces pressure after defeat to Brighton

Slaven Bilic faced up to the prospect of the sack after West Ham's humiliating 3-0 home defeat by Brighton.

The Hammers manager's future is firmly back in the spotlight after a dreadful display at the London Stadium.

Victory over a side that had not won away this season would have lifted West Ham to 10th - instead they could be in the bottom three by the end of the weekend.

Joint-owner David Sullivan even backed the boss before kick-off, saying he would be given the opportunity to at least see out his contract until the end of the season.

But a clueless and shambolic performance - one that former England and Liverpool defender turned Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher called "the type...that gets a manager sacked" - can only have set the alarm bells ringing.

And when asked whether he will be given time to sort the latest mess out, Bilic said: "I don't know.

"All I can say is I'm the manager of the team and I take full responsibility. What's going to happen is not in my hands.

"I can't comment. All I can say is on one hand I believe in myself, my work and my team, but on the other when you lose 3-0 to Brighton I can't be happy with anything."

Brighton simply could not believe their luck.

Pascal Gross had a hand in all six of their previous goals this season, but nobody seemed to have told West Ham's defenders.

He promptly made it seven in the 10th minute when he floated a free-kick towards the head of the unmarked Glenn Murray.

Jose Izquierdo had yet to score for Brighton but the Colombian winger made it two before half-time, skipping past a feeble challenge and curling home with Joe Hart getting a hand to the ball, but failing to keep it out.

West Ham's misery was complete midway through the second half when Pablo Zabaleta tripped Murray in the area allowing the frontman to make it three.

The PA system was cranked up at full-time, presumably to drown out the boos from those few home fans who had managed to stay until the end.

For Brighton, a first top-flight away win since 1983 catapulted them up to 10th.

"The first goal settled any nerves the team might have had, and then we put in a perfect performance," said manager Chris Hughton.

"Our centre-halves were outstanding. We had to cope with a lot of crosses and I thought we dealt with them well.

"I've been around in this division long enough to know if you are not on your game you can lose three, four or five matches on the spin.

"But we've been in every game so far, and I think if there is any statement then it's that we shouldn't be frightened of any team."

Press Association

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