Bilic - 'We want to win'

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic holds a firm belief that his team will still progress in the UEFA Europa League despite letting a two-goal lead slip in the first leg against Astra Giurgiu.

The Hammers face the second leg of their third qualifying round tie in Romania on Thursday, just three days before the start of the Barclays Premier League campaign.

Bilic is likely to make several changes to the team that took to the field a week ago, but he says that does not mean he is taking the competition lightly.

“It’s a good game for us,” he said. “It’s a European game and we are very respectful of this competition. Its 2-2 after the first leg and we were not happy with the result

“We were 2-0 up after 55 minutes, but they showed after the red card what we knew – that they have quality.

“They gained in confidence after they made it 2-1. We were a little bit down because of the red card and the equaliser puts us in a more difficult situation [than we would have liked].

“We are going to give everything to beat Astra. It is going to be hard in their home ground, but we are going to try, of course.”

West Ham may have left the likes of Mark Noble, James Tomkins and Aaron Cresswell at home, but they still possess plenty of experience with players such as Kevin Nolan, Carl Jenkinson, Manuel Lanzini, Darren Randolph and Modibo Maiga all in Romania.

Bilic says he has faith in his players to gain the result they need, both against Astra and Arsenal.

He added: “It was the plan before to play the team we did in the first leg, but it was always part of the plan that because the Premier League begins on Sunday that some players would stay at home.

“But we have come here with a good team that I have a strong belief in.  We want to win every game and it is a risk, ok [to leave some players at home], but I am taking that risk because of the bigger picture.

“Thursday’s game is a very important game for us and we have senior players all over the pitch. We have senior players in defence, in midfield we have our Club captain and players who have played in the Premier League.

“Up front we have Lanzini, we have Modibo {Maiga] so I am really looking forward to the game.”