Manager on Monday

The manager has backed Jelavic for further glory after netting his spectacular first goal
Slaven Bilic heaped praise on striker Nikica Jelavic after his superb late strike took the Hammers through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

The 30-year-old forward volleyed home Andy Carroll’s hooked pass with just six minutes remaining on his full home debut for the Hammers.

When questioned about his compatriot, Bilic enthused: “I am extremely glad, all the coaches and players are extremely happy for Jela.

“He is the one who is really respected and adored at the club because his work rate during every training session, his professionalism on and off the pitch is outstanding. His relationship with all the players is great.”

Bilic, who has worked with Jelavic previously during his time as the Croatian national coach, continued to praise the striker’s work-rate and commitment to the cause.   

The manager continued: “His game is not only about scoring goals, he is very mobile, he gives his best.

Some strikers might worry about scoring his first goal, and it is important, but he never let it affect his confidence. It opened the lock for us, at home, in the FA Cup; it will raise his confidence of course.

“He hasn’t played a lot; he’s had a few chances but not many. So to score in a game like Saturday’s is extremely important.”