Vaz backs Bilic to shine

Ricardo Vaz Te says Slaven Bilic's time in Turkish football will stand him in good stead when he returns to manage West Ham United
Former West Ham United forward Ricardo Vaz Te says Slaven Bilic’s time in Turkish football will stand him in good stead when he moves to east London.

Vaz Te left the Hammers in January this year to join Turkish Super Lig side Akhisar Belediyespor and had a chance to see how the new Hammers manager performed as a coach at rivals Besiktas during the last six months.

Besiktas finished third in the Super Lig table last season and Bilic was given a huge send-off by fans after what was largely a successful time in Istanbul

Vaz Te says he feels the Croatian coach can bring even more success to West Ham as he prepares to take charge for what is set to be an exciting and emotional 2015/16 season.

“I think Bilic was and is well respected and is seen as having done a good job here in Turkey, at times with limited resources,” said the 2012 Championship Play-Off final hero.

“He got a great reception from fans when he left and I know that he was well respected amongst the players.

“Besiktas finished third in the league and I am not sure what went on near the end in-house at the club, but he wasn’t far off landing the title with them. They also saw off Liverpool in the Europa League and that was a big result here, a big victory and achievement.

“He has experience of European football and that can only be a big positive thing. He likes to play good football, from what I could see and from what I heard, he is a very focused person and instils this in his players.”

Vaz Te, who scored 19 goals in 61 appearances for West Ham over three seasons, says Bilic’s own time at the Boleyn Ground will endear him to the Claret and Blue Army.

“The other thing is he knows West Ham as a club personally, having been there as a player himself and that is something he will look to embrace further I am sure,” the 28-year-old Portuguese forward added.

“It is exciting times for West Ham with the Europa League and then the big move to the new stadium. They are in a good place and can now hopefully build on that.”