Manager on Monday

Slaven Bilic insists his side will always play to win
Following the 1-0 victory over Sunderland on Saturday 27 February, Slaven Bilic vowed that any side of his will always play to win while trying to play entertaining football.

The Hammers are 13 games unbeaten at home in all competitions going into Wednesday’s crunch game with Tottenham Hotspur, yet the manager believes the best is yet to come.

Looking ahead to the London derby, Bilic said: “We want to play entertaining football for the people to enjoy, and that should improve because we are improving. It should also get us high up the table, where? I don’t know.

“We try and win every game, no matter who we play. There’s a long way to go this season. OK, for now, 43 points we are in a good position.

“The only focus is to finish as high as possible. We don’t have any other goal than that, no specific target.

“Of course if you said at the start of the season we would be fifth, of course I would take it. But now we are here, we can relax we need to continue to fight every game because every game is tough, and there are a lot of teams near us.”

After Wednesday night’s game, under the lights at the Boleyn Ground, the Hammers travel to Merseyside to face Everton in what will be Bilic’s first return to Goodison Park as West Ham manager.
However, despite the personal links, he insisted he is fully concentrated on the task in hand.

He continued: “In every away game throughout my career, my assistant has always said, a point tomorrow would be a good result, and of course it would be. But if you offered me a point before a match, I wouldn’t take it, I would never take it. Sometimes after a game you are over the moon with a point, but before, no thank you, because we have a good team and I believe in them.

“In some ways we are already a victim of our own success. The only way we can stop the expectations rising is to lose games, which of course we don’t want. The pressure is always on.”