Bilic rues West Ham’s lack of quality in final third

Date published: Sunday 7th February 2016 9:06

Slaven Bilic: Hands off Cresswell

Slaven Bilic was frustrated by the lack of quality West Ham produced in the final third during their 1-0 defeat at Southampton on Saturday.

Saints claimed the three points courtesy of Maya Yoshida’s ninth-minute strike after West Ham failed to deal with a corner and Victor Wanyama teed up the Japan defender to sweep home from close range.

But nine minutes after the break Dimitri Payet skipped away from Wanyama and was crudely brought down by Saints’ midfield enforcer.

The challenge annoyed Bilic, who had seen his key playmaker sidelined for three months by a similar tackle by Everton’s James McCarthy earlier in the season.

Bilic said: “It’s a red card. When the second leg comes around it is dangerous.

“I don’t mind sliding in. It was a big part of my game when I played. But for me as soon as the second leg comes round – scissors – it is unacceptable.”

Despite boasting a man advantage for the final 36 minutes, West Ham did not trouble Southampton anywhere near as much as they would have liked.

New signing Emmanuel Emenike almost made a name for himself moments after coming on as a substitute, but he headed Sam Byram’s cross wide, and that was as close as they came to equalising in the second half.

“Against 10 men we dominated, but we didn’t create enough and didn’t test their keeper well enough,” said Bilic.

“Our final ball, shot or cross was simply not good enough. This was a great opportunity for us and we shouldn’t have wasted it.”

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