Belfast Telegraph

West Ham get inside track on Saturday's opponents Southampton from Jose Fonte

Slaven Bilic has been getting the inside track on Southampton from new signing Jose Fonte.

The West Ham boss splashed £8million to bring Portugal defender Fonte to east London just two weeks ago.

Fonte endured a torrid debut in the 4-0 midweek mauling by Manchester City, but he can help make amends upon his return to St Mary's on Saturday.

"Jose didn't have a great game a couple of days ago but he is a great asset for us and a great player, and we are going to benefit from him," said Bilic.

"We have spoken about Southampton and he has only got good memories about the club. He was captain there and he's looking forward to going there and playing.

"We have spoken about their team. He knows them the best and it's always good to have that information.

"There are no secrets in football. But if you watch Southampton's three or four latest games then he can tell you a bit of insider stories, like about individuals, what they are good at, or not.

"You have to find out something like 'I didn't know that', because now football is more or less an open book - but it's good to know, definitely."

West Ham's mini-revival of back-to-back wins was bookended by last month's 5-0 FA Cup defeat by Manchester City, and Wednesday night's walloping at the hands of the same opposition.

In fact, while it took the Hammers just under four months to score nine goals against Premier League opposition at the London Stadium, City racked up the same tally in a little over three hours.

And Bilic admits those heavy defeats have taken their toll, although he insists his team will not dwell on them.

"That harms your feeling about your season," he said. "Our season, if you look at the table now, is okay. But there's a bitter taste when you lose 5-0 in the cup and now 4-0.

"No matter that it's Man City, or whether we made mistakes, nobody likes losing by that much. It doesn't matter if it's against great teams.

"Of course it's easier if you lose against Man City. I don't like it of course, nobody likes it, but is it going to hurt our confidence? Of course not."

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