Slav - It's nice to finish with a win

Slaven Bilic


Slaven Bilic praised his players for finishing a challenging 2016/17 Premier League season on a real high with a deserved 2-1 win at Burnley.

West Ham United completed a rollercoaster campaign on a run of one defeat in seven matches and with a fifth away victory courtesy of goals from Sofiane Feghouli and Andre Ayew.

Despite being without a host of senior players absent through injuries and season-ending surgeries, the Hammers produced a display full of energy and commitment to become just the sixth team to leave Turf Moor with all three points.

Victory in east Lancashire secured an eleventh-place finish with 45 points, just a point behind Southampton in eighth – a satisfactory return after West Ham lost five of their opening six Premier League fixtures.

“We wanted to finish positive and I think we deserved to beat them and it’s always nice to win the last game because this result stays,” the manager confirmed. “You can’t make it up in a week’s time or whatever, so that’s why I’m really pleased for the guys.

“We deserved to win. We knew that we would have problems when they were playing the ball straight forward, like every other club here, because they are really good in that way with presence and delivery. They were playing balls into the channels or winning good second balls and we knew we were going to struggle, but we coped well with that in the main.

“We tried to match them, and we were coming out of the situations in the midfield with Edimilson Fernandes and Manuel Lanzini with the ball at their feet.

“They bossed the game and were playing very nice football and creating a lot of clear-cut chances, switching the play in dangerous areas and crossing well into the box. I’m really pleased with the way we played and it’s good to finish the season with a win.

“I have to praise the referee also before the second goal for playing a double advantage. He didn’t give us a foul two times, he let the ball go and I have to praise him for good refereeing. So, overall, it’s good to finish the season like this."

We wanted to finish positive and I think we deserved to beat them and it’s always nice to win the last game because this result stays

Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic
When asked to reflect on the season as a whole, Bilic’s response was typically honest but felt his squad had risen to the numerous challenges put in front of them.

“We thought we were going to do better but, considering everything, and I didn’t want to talk about it during the season because we wanted to stay positive and all that, we had so many obstacles and so many injuries and so many surgeries, it was not normal.

“Then, although the move to the new stadium is the best thing the Club has done in the long term, it was always going to take some time to settle in, like it does for every club.

“It was a tough season with its ups and downs but at the end, we did it and I have to praise the guys because we never lost belief, we showed character and we showed quality and finished better, like we wanted to.

“We were one point from the top eight and in this league it’s not a season to talk about hating it because it’s not a very, very bad season, but we’ve done it.”