Wednesday 17 October 2018

Slaven Bilic's warning to his West Ham players after a stunning comeback win against Tottenham

West Ham’s Irish U21 star Declan Rice celebrates Ogbonna’s winner at Wembley last night. Photo: Reuters
West Ham’s Irish U21 star Declan Rice celebrates Ogbonna’s winner at Wembley last night. Photo: Reuters

A delighted Slaven Bilic watched West Ham beat Tottenham to ease the pressure building on him - but warned them not to "go large".

Trailing to goals from Moussa Sissoko and Dele Alli, the Hammers launched a remarkable fightback as Andre Ayew's brace drew them level before Angelo Ogbonna headed the winner.

It could be a pivotal result for Bilic, whose side are above the Premier League relegation zone on goal difference alone.

And he told Sky Sports: "Of course I'm glad when we win, especially in this way, but it's no time to 'go large' now - we've done nothing, we have to continue like this."

The stunning result followed a dismal 3-0 loss at home to Brighton, and came with a team showing nine changes from that Friday night setback.

Bilic said: "We couldn't wait for the game to start after the Brighton game. We would hope the Brighton game was a one-off, recently we are doing well apart from that.

"We wanted to put a strong team out tonight, a few players we rested but mostly we believed the alternatives were also good enough and deserved a chance.

"Players like (Sam) Byram, Ogbonna, Declan Rice, (Edimilson) Fernandes, Ayew deserved a chance.

"We have to be humble and sacrifice for the cause of the team - no matter who plays, there shouldn't be long faces, we need all the squad."

Captain Mark Noble admitted the players had to take responsibility for the pressure on their manager and welcomed their show of pride.

West Ham United’s Andre Ayew (right) scores his side’s equalising goal at Wembley in their victory against Tottenham. Photo: PA
West Ham United’s Andre Ayew (right) scores his side’s equalising goal at Wembley in their victory against Tottenham. Photo: PA

"Do I believe in the team? Do I believe in the players? Yes," he said. "But 2-0 down at Wembley against a big club like Spurs is a massive mountain to climb.

"We haven't been doing ourselves justice, we're accountable for the performances we put in. We said in the week we needed to wear the shirt with pride and we did that tonight."

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino's emotions were in sharp contrast to his opposite number as he struggled to process how his side - who previously hammered Liverpool 4-1 and drew away to Real Madrid - had thrown the game away.

He said: "We scored two goals and it looked like the game was over but the second half was completely different, in 15 minutes we conceded three goals.

"When you are not on the same mental level, it's difficult because you can concede one goal, the opponent has nothing to lose and they believe.

"After Real Madrid and Liverpool, it is difficult to keep the motivation and the energy. It's not good, it's a bad feeling."

Press Association

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