Slaven Speaks - Chelsea

Slaven Bilic faced the media ahead of this Saturday's London derby
Ahead of the Hammers clash with reigning champions Chelsea, manager Slaven Bilic faced the media.

During his pre-match press conference, the boss answered questions on a range of topics from maintaining their unbeaten run, facing Jose Mourinho to Manuel Lanzini’s instant impact.

How long do you think you can maintain your fantastic start to the season?

SB: “I don’t know but we hope we can continue our good football for as long as possible. At the moment we have a chance in every game. We are playing good but we are realistically optimistic. On the one hand, we can improve in most aspects but at the same time, this is the Premier League and every game is difficult. All the opponents are top class."

How do you approach this game, given your form is it better to think of this as an away game?

SB: "Well no, apart from two first halves against Leicester and Bournemouth our performances have not been that bad. We have played some really good stuff, but we have to be more patient when we play at home. We have that patience away, and we scored goals at Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool at the right times. We are trying to approach the game in the same way, regardless of where we play."

Is this a good time to play Chelsea given they travelled to Ukraine in midweek?

SB: "On the one hand it’s a good time, we can’t deny that. They haven’t started like we all expected them to do, and they don’t have that consistency, regarding that it’s a good time to play them. But on the other, it’s a very dangerous time to play them. They are on their toes, they are motivated. It is both.

"They played a really good game against Kiev, they were very solid, they were like the old Chelsea of last year. Kiev is a very tough away game, a long trip and a good team they played against. I watched that game of course, I wasn’t happy afterwards! They looked to me very good, very sharp with great individuals."

How much are you looking forward to facing Jose Mourinho?

SB: "Well, yes, it’s a big challenge for us. Not for me personally, it isn't me versus Mourinho, it’s West Ham v Chelsea. But it is a bit of a special game because they are champions. You can easily say that he is the best manager around, he’s been doing it for his whole career, and he is brilliant. I am looking forward to it to be fair."
You’ve scored 20 goals so far, the second highest in the League, how do you rate your attacking options?

SB: "I am very happy, we are creating chances, we are playing good. Against Palace we were very versatile, we kept the ball very well. The only thing I would like us to do more is shoot, sometimes we wait too long to shoot. You have to try your luck when you are in the right positions. Against Palace, they were defending deep as a team and it was hard to create one-on-one chances, so when we are 20 yards out we need to try. 

"Our players are very dangerous when they shoot in training, that’s the only thing I would like us to do more."

What is the team news for Saturday’s game?

SB: "Compared to the Palace game we are without Victor Moses of course, it’s a big blow for us but we knew that when we signed him. Winston Reid isn’t going to make it, the injury isn’t major but he won’t play. All others are back available, Enner Valencia could start."