West Ham manager Slaven Bilic left ‘angry’ by Leicester defeat
PUBLISHED: 13:15 01 January 2017
PA Wire/PA Images
Hammers fall short against the champions
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was left angry after his team’s run of three consecutive victories was ended with a 1-0 defeat at Leicester City on New Year’s Eve.
The Hammers started slowly and found themselves behind to Islam Slimani’s header early on, but for the rest of the game, West Ham more than matched the champions and deserved at least a share of the spoils.
That is what angered the Hammers boss.
“I think we deserved something,” he said after the 1-0 defeat. “We played a good game and I am very disappointed, angry and frustrated that we lost.
“They started better and we knew they would start aggressively. They were better for the first 20 minutes and they deserved to go in front,” said Bilic.
“But after that for the next 70 minutes we were the better team and even in the first half, we had three chances to equalise and then for the whole of the second half.”
There were indeed a host of chances for West Ham in both halves and though Leicester had their moments too, it was the visitors who had the possession advantage and really tested the Foxes defence.
Close to the end came perhaps the biggest chance when Andy Carroll met Aaron Cresswell’s pinpoint cross only to put his header agonisingly wide.
Bilic, however, pointed at the first half chances as their best opportunities.
“The biggest ones we had were in the first half for me,” he insisted. “When we hit them on the counter with Michail (Antonio) and Andre (Ayew), even though it wasn’t a chance at the end of the move, it was a 100 per cent opportunity.
“We hit the bar and also had some more clear-cut chances, but it was very hard the way they were defending in numbers.”
There were certainly some decent performances. Antonio continues to play on top of his game, while Winston Reid, Darren Randolph and Andy Carroll put in great shifts and Manuel Lanzini looked his old self when he came on as a substitute.
“We were coming at them with the ball in very good areas and you would expect from the quantity of balls into the box, that one of them would end up with a goal, but it wasn’t to be.”
It wasn’t. Leicester seem to have the hoodoo over the Hammers at the moment. That win made it four wins and a draw from the last five.
Overall though, Bilic is happy with the way his team is playing going into the home clash with Manchester United on Tuesday evening.
“As I said we were very disappointed, but we did play a good game and that makes one part of me satisfied.
“It is a good pattern for the game on Monday, we look fit, we look sharp and on the ball we were good.”
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