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Monday 10 December 2018

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic admits pressure is on against Crystal Palace

Slaven Bilic's West Ham have won just two Premier League games so far this season
Slaven Bilic's West Ham have won just two Premier League games so far this season

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic has admitted the pressure is on to rectify his struggling side's poor start to the Premier League season.

The Hammers sit just above the top-flight drop zone following last Friday's dismal home defeat to Brighton.

They travel to rock bottom Crystal Palace on Saturday and Bilic knows they need to achieve a positive result at Selhurst Park to dampen speculation about his future.

"I know our situation; our situation also determines my situation," Bilic said.

"All that I can say is that it is a massively important game and we have to get some points after we lost against Brighton at home.

"There are rumours and all that but I talk to the chairman - not every day but often enough - and I know my situation and I know our situation.

"But I'm totally focussed on the things that I can influence and that is only the training, talks to the players and the game.

"Only with that in your head, you can improve and you can affect those kinds of rumours to change."

After being booed by their own supporters during the 3-0 defeat to the Seagulls at the London Stadium, Bilic's men appeased the fans slightly by coming from two goals down to defeat Tottenham 3-2 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.

The Croatian has urged his players to use the morale-boosting success at Wembley to improve their stuttering league form.

"We want to continue like that and we want to use that kind of win and that kind of self-confidence when we approach the game tomorrow," Bilic added.

" To come back from 2-0 down to 3-2, it gave us a lot of confidence. For the next game, it's very important.

"We have a game of massive importance and we have to show the quality and the character and the thing that we showed a couple of days ago."

While the Hammers have endured a difficult start to the campaign, Palace's situation is even more desperate following a return of just three points and two goals from nine league matches.

Bilic believes it is very difficult to recover from a slow start in the Premier League but feels the Eagles have made progress since Roy Hodgson replaced the sacked Frank de Boer as manager.

"The start is very important because the quality of the Premier League is so big, the quality of every club is so big and so huge that once you are in bad form or a crisis, it's very difficult to come out of that," Bilic added.

"They change their manager, they had a bad start and I watched the three games of them and they were pretty good; they beat Chelsea and they played well against Newcastle. They improved, to be fair."

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