‘Realistic’ Bilic makes key admission on West Ham dogfight

Date published: Wednesday 5th April 2017 10:23

Slaven Bilic: Manager still targeting top four place

Slaven Bilic admitted West Ham face a massive clash against Swansea on Saturday after defeat at Arsenal left them in a relegation battle.

Second-half goals from Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcot and Olivier Giroud struck in the second half to leave the Hammers only three points clear of the drop zone and having now suffered five successive defeats.

“Arsenal deserved to win. The first half was OK, not only because of the score but we were good,” Bilic told the BBC. “We defended well with numbers. And we were also good on counter-attacks.

“In the second half they raised the tempo and scored a goal, and they were the better team. They were sharper than us tonight.

“We wanted to keep a clean sheet and the draw as long as possible, or even better to score, and make their fans and players a bit more nervous. But they started to play with more freedom after scoring.”

Bilic admits West Ham are struggling for confidence right now and says he won’t hide away from their struggles.

“Of course we are [in a relegation battle]. We don’t have to hide it,” he added. ” It’s not being negative, it’s being realistic.

“I told the players to forget today – we have big games ahead of us. It’s a massive game against Swansea on Saturday. We are in a fight to keep our Premier League status. We have to start winning games.

“To get that confidence back is the key point. One win will change everything for us. Because three points at this stage of the season are massive.”

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