Bilic: Our reaction in the second half was excellent

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic praised his side for their excellent second half performance and felt the Hammers could have come away with all three points.

After going two goals down in the first half, the West Ham players showed all their fighting qualities to get back into the game and goals from Carl Jenkinson and Dimitri Payet helped secure a well deserved 2-2 draw.

Sunderland were reduced to ten-men in the second half when Jeremain Lens was sent off and Bilic was clearly going for the victory bringing on both Mauro Zarate and Nikica Jelavic, but the Hammers were unable to clinch a winner.

Bilic said: “It was our first away game that we went behind and it was a very cheap goal. It lifted them as they have not been in this position this season.

“It was then a big mistake from us for the second goal. We were then lucky not to be three down and the crucial moment of the game was the last ten minutes of the second half and we managed to score a goal.

“We showed after that goal that we were going to raise the game. Our team-talk at half-time was good and our reaction in the second half was excellent. We scored early on and then dominated.

“They had a man sent-off and after than it was all us. We wanted the game to last longer but when you see the character and spirit it was a good point.

“We finished the game with Lanzini in central midfield with Payet and Zarate on the flanks and Sakho and Jelavic through the middle and we could not have done more.

“Overall the second half was really good for us.”

Bilic had special praise for Manuel Lanzini who produced a superb display in the Hammers midfield and played a crucial role in the Payet equaliser.

Bilic added: “He is that type of player and that is why we got him. People are saying he is a number ten, for me he is not that and he likes to get a lot of contact on the ball and he is gaining space. I like him a lot as a player and he is a big asset for us.

“He is the one that gives Payet a breather and the opportunities to get the ball when he is not marked. The two of them are really good together.”