Sunday 09 Apr
Updated Sunday 09 Apr 22:30

Manager on Monday

Slaven Bilic

  • Slaven Bilic says the Hammers must build on Saturday’s victory over Swansea
  • Gaffer has ‘minimum goal’ of 40 points in his sights
  • Hammers can move to within a point of that target with win at Sunderland next up

Slaven Bilic says focus is important after his team ended a run of five straight defeats with a 1-0 win against Swansea City on Saturday.

The manager was keen to stress that the Hammers had not yet got the job done, despite moving eight points clear of Paul Clement’s side thanks to Cheikhou Kouyate’s stunning long-range strike.

That goal eased the tension, and a two-month wait for victory, and now Bilic wants West Ham to move ever closer to his ‘minimum goal’ target of 40 points by claiming another win at Sunderland next weekend.

He said: “We need this week in, week out. It’s three points, but over a season you need 50, 55, 60. Or a minimum of 40.

“I talk about 40 points as the metaphor for securing the minimum goal, and let’s do it as quickly as possible to ease the pressure. Then hopefully, we will be under the pressure to try and climb the table.

“We made a gap six games ago. Suddenly in no time, we had five defeats and there was no gap that we want. Now, we don’t want that situation to come again.

“We need to do everything we can and put it in like we did on Saturday. From today, we start the big preparation for the Sunderland game.

“Still, we can finish in the top half. We are only one point behind tenth. We want to finish as high as possible, but let’s get the minimum job done very soon.

“This season could be one of the most valuable seasons, for growing for the team, because this experience that we’ve had first of you makes you motivated not to be in that situation again and it makes you believe you can do it with the obstacles.”