Slaven set for Europa team talk

New manager Slaven Bilic will take the Hammers pre-match team talk
West Ham United Academy manager Terry Westley confirmed that new manager Slaven Bilic will take the Hammers pre-match team talk ahead of the Europa League tie with FC Lusitans on Thursday evening. 

Westley has been working closely with the matchday squad which comprises a mixture of first team regulars and Development Squad Academy graduates such as Lewis Page and Reece Oxford.  

In Wednesday’s pre-match press conference, Westley explained: “The team is all set up. We did all our work in Cork with the manager. With Diafra Sakho and Mauro Zarate up front and Morgan Amalfitano and Matt Jarvis on the wings, we pretty much have four forwards. It gives some indication to our attacking intent. 

“We don’t need a huge team talk before the game because the work has been done. The players are ready. We’ll have to get here a bit earlier due to the huge number of people that are coming. We’ll have a pre-match meeting with the manager then the players will do the job.”

Westley continued to highlight the importance of Bilic’s previous experience of European football with Turkish outfit Besiktas.  

While the former West Ham United defender may have only just taken the reigns, Westley has been impressed by the Croatians’ managerial abilities.  

“We’ve spoken about the shape of the team and the way we’d like to play. We’re both happy with how preparations have gone in Ireland and since we’ve been back.

“Slaven knows European football inside out. He is a very, very talented manager. He gets to know the players he works with at previous clubs very well too.”