Slaven Bilic and West Ham eye another big scalp at the London Stadium
PUBLISHED: 12:30 11 May 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
The pressure will be on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool this weekend and the Hammers will be keen to capitalise
After a wonderful victory over rivals Tottenham Hotspur last Friday, West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is now plotting another big scalp at the London Stadium as Liverpool visit on Sunday.
The Reds make the journey down to the capital in desperate need of the points in their quest to finish in the top four, but they will face a confident Hammers team.
Bilic’s side have now gone five games without defeat and conceded just twice during that period to move within three points of eighth-placed West Brom.
It has been a great couple of weeks for the Croatian, despite further speculation regarding his future in the build-up to the Spurs match, but after the 1-0 success the tables appear to have turned.
Reports over the weekend suggested Fenerbahce were looking to bring Bilic back to Turkey, where he has previously managed before with Besiktas, but the 48-year-old revealed on Friday he had already started making plans for next season at the London Stadium.
Despite some brief discussions, the main attention is on the visit of Liverpool on Sunday and then the final day of the campaign at Burnley on May 21.
“I had a chat with a director and the chief scout two days before the Tottenham game, but 80 per cent you are focusing on that game because you want to do it,” said Bilic after Friday’s victory.
“Now I am only thinking about Liverpool and then Burnley because we are in a situation where we want to win as many points as we can.
“We can finish in quite a good position if we can gain more points, so we are not going to stop now. Of course we won’t stop.”
Liverpool are currently third in the table, but have played more games than anybody else inside the top six.
Therefore the pressure will be on Jurgen Klopp’s team this weekend and the Hammers will be keen to capitalise on that.
One man especially keen to prevent the Reds getting back on track in their battle to qualify for the Champions League is Jose Fonte.
The ex-Southampton defender was linked with a switch to Anfield during the January transfer window, but eventually made the move to east London to join West Ham.
After a difficult start, Fonte has been a rock in recent weeks in the Hammers new formation of three at the back,
“We have a massive game against Liverpool and we want to finish in the top 10, so we have got to win our last two games,” he told whufc.com.
“It is another big one on Sunday and we want to replicate what we did against Tottenham.
“I came here to be successful and help the club to be successful. I didn’t have the perfect start, but one thing I don’t do is give up.
“I trust the process and I trust my work during the week, and I give my heart and soul for this club now and for my team-mates.”
Fonte went on to hail the West Ham supporters for making life hard for Tottenham on Friday by creating an intense atmosphere.
Playing under the lights helped, but the Hammers centre-back hopes the fans can be at their passionate best on Sunday afternoon (2.15pm).
“I’m pleased with the last few results and I’m pleased the fans have supported us,” he added. “If the fans want to, they can make it hell for the opponents and that’s what they did on Friday. This win is for them.”
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Newham Recorder. Click the link in the orange box above for details.