Belfast Telegraph

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic remains motivated despite ongoing speculation

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic is braced for more speculation on his future after his side slumped to a fourth straight Premier League defeat, losing 2-1 at relegation fighters Hull.

Andrea Ranocchia headed home his first goal for Hull in the 85th minute to keep his side's survival hopes alive after Andrew Robertson's fine low finish after the break had cancelled out Andy Carroll's first-half opener.

Carroll's effort was his 50th Premier League goal - his 30th for West Ham and seventh of the season - but that was of little consolation to under-pressure Bilic, whose side are now only six points above the drop zone.

"The only way you can stop the speculation is if you win games or get a point or climb up the table," Bilic said.

"After four defeats of course I can expect even more speculation, but as I said I wasn't worried before and I'm not worried now.

"I'm doing my job. I'm very motivated and very positive."

West Ham's vice-chairman Karren Brady is the latest board member to offer her support to the Croatian, who is coming to the end of the second year of his three-year contract.

Brady told those suggesting the club are already looking for a replacement to "shut up" before Saturday's latest defeat and insisted they are planning to keep him.

"Speculation and all that - I said ages ago it doesn't affect me," Bilic added. "I don't read it. I know it, it's there of course.

"We are all disappointed, everybody with me in the dressing room, but my morale is always high - it's my job.

"I'm totally motivated and focused. We have another game very soon, a chance to make it up, to start winning games.

"Of course it's not easy to have a great atmosphere when you have four defeats out of four games, but it's now down to us to show our team spirit and character."

Hull climbed level on points with fourth-from-bottom Swansea after securing a fourth win in five unbeaten home league games under head coach Marco Silva.

Silva extended his unbeaten home league record as a manager, stretching back through spells at Estoril, Sporting Lisbon and Olympiacos, to an impressive 39 matches.

"It's not a secret, it's the work," the Portuguese said. "We all work, our staff, our players, the supporters as well because nobody wins alone.

"It's important and they're very good numbers and give us all more confidence."

The Tigers had failed to trouble West Ham goalkeeper Darren Randolph in a tepid first-half display, but responded in the second period after Silva had replaced skipper Curtis Davies with winger Kamil Grosicki, who set up Robertson's 53rd-minute equaliser.

"It's better when we look at the table, but nothing is finished today," Silva added.

"I'm sure this fight will continue until the end of the season.

"It's three important points for us. We had a very good second half. We changed the result during the second half. Nothing is finished, but it's very important.

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