Manager on Matchday

Bilic Liverpool


Good morning everybody.

I want to start by wishing all the West Ham United supporters travelling to Liverpool a safe journey.

We want to give you all another day to be proud of at Anfield, but we know it will be far from easy. What I know is that we have worked very hard and prepared well in training this week and will give everything we can to give a good performance.

Liverpool have been winning matches, especially at home, but they play risky football and they leave spaces. Manchester City are also playing like this, and Liverpool are not less-solid than Man City.

For me they are strong contenders to win the Premier League, Liverpool. If they had a defence like they have an offense they would be eight points clear or whatever. For me, they are very strong contenders.

I was asked this week about whether our season has affected my self-belief, and I can honestly say it has not.

My mood, on the other hand, has been affected. It’s not the same if my team is winning or losing, but if you talk about confidence and self-belief, situations like this make me stronger.

I was asked this week about whether our season has affected my self-belief, and I can honestly say it has not

Slaven Bilic

I have had periods like this in my career before, when things have been tough. OK, I’ve not been so low in the table, but I had periods with Croatia and Lokomotiv Moscow that were challenging, and they are hard times, but they only make me stronger.

My belief in myself, my players and my staff and my ideas remains strong and grows bigger every day.

This is a job where you take your feelings and emotions home with you. Maybe you can hide them sometimes, but it’s not a job where you can divide business from personal life.

You can’t do this job in a proper way if you’re not emotional, but the catch is to remain in control of your emotions. I didn’t see a manager who is not emotional, though, definitely.

I believe in my team and their abilities, but we have to be balanced because Liverpool are playing good football and are on a roll at home. They are exciting to watch and put you under a lot of pressure, so you have to be versatile, complete and play a good game.

You cannot park the bus and stay 25 metres from your goal. You can win the game that way, because it’s football, but you have to be very lucky to get anything if you play like this.

On the other hand, you cannot just attack them high up the pitch, because they have the quality to break through you and get into big spaces. Most of the time, they create goalscoring opportuntiies from those situations.

You have to be balanced, like we were last season. We played them four times last season and beat them three times, so we take confidence from last season, but we have to produce the same level of performance to get a similar result.

We shouldn’t be afraid of them, but we cannot go there and think we will beat them just because we beat them last season. We need to use our positive memories to inspire us and they can do us no harm.

Come on you Irons!