Sport Soccer

Tuesday 24 September 2019

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic says Swansea should have stuck with Bob Bradley

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, right, was sympathetic towards Bob Bradley
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, right, was sympathetic towards Bob Bradley

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic believes Bob Bradley was not given a fair chance at Swansea following the American's sacking on Tuesday.

A 4-1 Boxing Day defeat against the Hammers saw Bradley's 85-day reign at the Liberty Stadium come to an end after being appointed in October. With just 11 games under his belt, Bradley could muster just two wins in the Premier League, with Swansea only ahead of bottom-placed Hull on goal difference.

Bilic was sympathetic towards his counterpart having also had his position scrutinised during a six-game winless run which left his side near the relegation zone. However, three successive wins have seen West Ham climb up to 11th in the table, thus taking pressure off his side.

When asked if Bradley was given a fair chance during his first managerial stint in the Premier League, Bilic said: "No, he didn't. It was just a short space of time. You basically depend on luck, people are expecting you to do something in a couple of months and that's not with the pre-season. You have a game in two days then you have another in five days.

"He didn't have any chance, to be fair, apart from the fact that he won a few games. But I'm not a fan of that kind of culture towards the managers. I feel for all of the managers, I know he is a good manager, he's got a good CV, he's hard-working and then he believes in himself.

"I saw them (Swansea) play with confidence which is hard to maintain when you are down."

Bilic also revealed that during a conversation after their Boxing Day clash, Bradley was all but consigned to his fate after Swansea fans jeered their team off the pitch on Monday.

"I wasn't shocked (by the decision)," the 48-year-old added. "We spoke after game in his office and of course his whole life is in football. He was not shocked but disappointed and so was I."

West Ham will hope to continue their impressive run of wins in their New Year's Eve clash against Premier League champions Leicester, who are also in the midst of a torrid run of form in the league.

After their title triumph last season, the Foxes are now three points off the drop zone and have only won two of their last 10 games in the league despite progressing to the last 16 in the Champions League.

However, Bilic insists that it was always going to be difficult to maintain the heroics they produced last season.

"From last season, the only way was down," Bilic said.

"It was not a miracle, but it was a big achievement for them, one of the biggest in football history so it was difficult, especially for the manager, to maintain that level.

"The Champions League didn't help, definitely. They did tremendously well in the Champions League. In the Premier League, okay they didn't do well but they are now in a position that they are not happy about it. But there's still a long way to go.

"They have the quality, they have the resources and they have a great manager who won the league last season. They should be alright."

PA Media

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