Wednesday 13 November 2019

Slaven Bilic: West Ham can take motivation from flying start

Slaven Bilic has guided West Ham to third in the Premier League
Slaven Bilic has guided West Ham to third in the Premier League

Slaven Bilic insists sitting third in the Premier League is motivation enough for his West Ham players to maintain their impressive start to the season.

The Hammers travel to Watford on Saturday looking to add to their tally of away wins, which already includes the scalps of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Last weekend's victory over Chelsea at Upton Park was enough to move Bilic's men into the top three in the table - just two points shy of leaders City.

But, while the Croatian admits motivation for trips to places like the Emirates Stadium and Anfield is never hard to come by, he believes simply being in their current position means games against sides like Watford should also be met with enthusiasm from his side.

"Those bigger clubs, they somehow motivate you even more," he said.

"But the Premier League motivates you by itself, this is the Premier League and we have a good atmosphere and our position in the table motivates the players because they are enjoying it and would like to enjoy it longer and continue this run.

"Eventually we are going to lose a game, it is going to happen, but I don't think it will be down to motivation."

Bilic has enjoyed a good start to his managerial career in England - as has Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores, who has guided the newly-promoted side to 13 points from their first 10 games.

The Spaniard has impressed Bilic with his ability to integrate a host of new players into his side and not let performances slip as a result.

"I rate Quique really highly," added Bilic.

"Not only because of his past - he did it as a player and a coach at big clubs - but to do it here and make a team out of 20 new players in such a short time is amazing and they look very, very organised.

"He won the Europa League with Atletico Madrid, it doesn't surprise me at all. He is a great coach, he has got the most nationalities in the team and to make them look like a team that has been playing together for three or four years, it is a great job."

Having brought in his own players over the summer, Bilic has seen the likes of Dmitri Payet and Manuel Lanzini add quality to West Ham and admits a number of Watford's new recruits had been on his radar for some time.

"It is going to be very, very difficult and hard for us and we have to be on top of our game if we want to continue this good run," he said.

"Watford is a good club and they got promoted last year and have got a lot of new players. They were on our list at Besiktas or West Ham - they are good internationals and very experienced.

"Some are young, big talents and 10 of them were maybe on my list at Besiktas or West Ham."

PA Media

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