Belfast Telegraph

Slaven Bilic wants West Ham to stay grounded

Slaven Bilic wants everyone involved with West Ham to savour their current success - warning the feeling will not last forever.

The Hammers currently sit third in the Premier League having secured an amazing trio of away victories at Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City so far this season.

Former Croatia coach Bilic is enjoying a good start to life as Sam Allardyce's replacement at Upton Park - despite an early exit from Europa League qualification and home defeats to Leicester and Bournemouth.

A first home league win came last time out against Newcastle and Norwich are the visitors to east London on Sunday, with Bilic pleased that the club are enjoying the moment.

"Everything goes really quickly in football and in life," he said.

"I'm not denying that, there is no point not enjoying the good spells. I said to my staff the other day 'we've done good why shouldn't we enjoy it a little bit because when the bad days come we won't enjoy it?'

"There's no reasons we could not be confident or proud. But the one condition is they stay on the ground and be even more motivated. There's no point to deny them enjoyment and be grim."

A former West Ham player, Bilic was a popular appointment back in June, especially after the fractious relationship the majority of the fan-base had with Allardyce.

And the 47-year-old admits he loves being told by supporters of other clubs, as well as those West Ham fans, how impressed they have been with the start to his managerial career in England.

""It's the best. It's a great feeling to be fair," he added.

"We have an army of fans but it is not only our fans, it is outer clubs' fans - football fans - who are congratulating me and West Ham fans are delighted but other fans say "well done" and all that.

"The praise gets through to you, it gets to me and the staff and the players of course which is the most important thing - that we get that get that feedback that so far we are doing a good job."

While Allardyce was often at odds with the supporters and owners over the style of football on display, Bilic has introduced a more attractive game - an approach people associated with the club label the 'West Ham Way'.

"Every coach likes to play good football," he added.

"For that you need to train, you need good players, you need to have confidence and you need to have points.

"The more points you have the better you are going to play in the next game, it can go a bit up and down but it goes like that.

"We having been trying to do that from the start. Sometimes you are doing that and sometimes you are not but this is our philosophy and our plan - but not to die in the art."

Another three points against newly-promoted Norwich would keep West Ham up with the early-season pace setters in the Premier League and continue to see Bilic's stock rise.

Club-record signing Andy Carroll will be pushing for his first league start since January, while deadline day signings Michail Antonio and Nikica Jelavic are in contention for their full debuts.

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