Manager on Monday

Slaven Bilic has reflected on Saturday’s disappointing Barclays Premier League defeat away to Newcastle, and said his team must put it behind them and put the lessons learned to good use in their upcoming encounters.
West Ham found themselves two goals down within the first 15 minutes on Tyneside, and could never recover with that mountain to climb. And the Hammers manager admitted he was baffled by his team’s early setbacks.
“We prepared the game all week”, he said, “so I felt we were going to start better. We were the team that should have started with more confidence than them. 
“We were unbeaten for a number of games, and we were counting on confidence to be on our side, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.”
Ayoze Perez and Georgino Wijnaldum scored for Newcastle during a whirlwind start at a wintry St James’ Park, and Nikica Jelavic’s early second-half strike was not enough to bring West Ham back into contention.  
“We have to give them credit”, said the gaffer, “they started bright and good, but definitely we helped them in that, and when you are ahead at home, your confidence is sky high.”
After the downer of the opening period, the boss was pleased by his team’s second-half reaction, even if it was not ultimately enough to rescue a result.
“We needed the half-time talk and the 15-minute break to come back into the shape and condition that is required when you play in the Premier League,” he revealed.
He admitted the West Ham players themselves were shocked at the outcome of the first half, and did not need telling that they had to come out fighting.
“In the second half, we can talk about positive things: good spirit; turning the game a little bit around; scoring a goal, putting them under pressure, and having a great chance to equalise.”
But ultimately, the manager said, there could be no complaints about the result.
“We could have nicked a point, and it wouldn’t have been the first time, but we have to admit that they were better. They deserved to beat us, especially with their performance in the first half.”
However, the manager struck a determined note when looking ahead to the rest of the season, and said that his team must not be deflected from their goals by one bad result.
“Nothing has changed”, he said. “The season so far is very positive. You have to win as many games as possible, but you can also lose games – we are not Real Madrid.”
Nevertheless, the message from the manager to his players is clear: they will not finish this season the way they deserve to if they start games as slowly as they did on Saturday. 
He will expect them to start putting that right from the kick-off when Manchester City visit the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.