West Ham boss Slaven Bilic: De Boer fate ‘on my mind’ before Huddersfield

first_imgSlaven Bilic insists has a good relationship with West Ham chairman David Sullivan, but that did not stop the boss fearing he was heading for the same fate as Frank de Boer at Crystal Palace ahead of Monday night’s clash with Huddersfield.Had the Hammers lost a fourth straight match – as De Boer’s Eagles had before his sacking on Monday afternoon – many believed the Hammers could wield the axe as well.But Bilic got a birthday present he admitted was better than any cake as second-half goals from Pedro Obiang – via a huge deflection – and Andre Ayew secured a 2-0 win over Huddersfield and West Ham’s first points of the season.The build-up to the game was dominated by Bilic’s dispute with joint-owner Sullivan over West Ham’s dealings – or lack of them – on deadline day.Bilic had said Sullivan ‘likes to talk’ after the joint-owner, involved in a row with Sporting Lisbon over a failed move for William Carvalho, claimed the Croatian had turned down the chance to sign Renato Sanches and Grzegorz Krychowiak.And the pressure was cranked up further on Monday with the news that Palace had axed de Boer following their fourth consecutive defeat.But Bilic insisted: “I never said a bad word about the chairman and I never will.“Yes I said some things – at the end of the day I’m 49 – I said them, and I wasn’t drunk!“I said nothing bad about the chairman, on the contrary I said we did good business, we wanted one more player and that the story from Sporting is not true as far as I know. I defended him.“Was de Boer’s sacking on my mind? It was, I ain’t going to lie. I’ve been in football since I was 18, so I know.“To be fair I came to the zone where I don’t care about that, but not in a negative way, I care about the team and that’s what I’ve been focused on. The other things are irrelevant.”The match looked to be heading for a stalemate until Huddersfield conceded their first league goal of the campaign in unfortunate fashion in the 72nd minute.Pedro Obiang’s shot hit Mathias Jorgensen on the back and looped agonisingly over the stranded Jonas Lossl and in off a post.Substitute Andre Ayew then poked home following a corner five minutes later to ease the tension around the London Stadium.“I am happy for the lads, I am happy for the whole club,” Bilic told Sky Sports. “It was very important for us.“We started with three away games, three defeats. It was a must-win game. I was pleased with the way we played. Even if we didn’t win the game I could say nothing to the lads, they gave everything.“We played good. It wasn’t a nice performance but it was a top performance in all other stuff, in the second balls, in determination, in closing them down, in getting the corners and free-kicks and all that. We totally deserved it.“I’ve felt the pressure for a whole year now, it didn’t start today. Although for me it’s not logical to be under pressure after three games only but it is modern football and of course I have felt the pressure.“But we kept the calmness, we changed a little bit the shape of the team and we said to the guys that you’re going to go back to basics.“It’s all about confidence. We have a quality team with quality players, some players are still missing but we have to keep the clean sheets to stop them from having the ball in dangerous areas to hurt us.” 1 West Ham manager Slaven Bilic last_img

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