Belfast Telegraph

West Ham boss Slaven Bilic demands a response against Liverpool after defeat

Slaven Bilic will demand a response from his West Ham side at Liverpool following last weekend's loss to Bournemouth.

The Hammers lost 4-3 to the Premier League new boys at Upton Park and head to Anfield on Saturday to face a Liverpool side who have made an unbeaten start and appear a more resilient proposition this season.

"It is not an easy week but with a defeat like we had last week, we were gutted after the game. We have got over that and we have to bounce back," Bilic said.

"(Liverpool) are a tough team and have seven points. They have not scored so many goals but have not conceded many. The results are different.

"If you see the players they have bought, they still want to be attacking and score goals.

"They have quality in every department of the pitch and are really dangerous upfront.

"Now they have physical size with (Christian) Benteke and the quality with (Philippe) Coutinho and (Roberto) Firmino.

"Seven points from three games is what they expected and I am expecting a tough game.

"But we are positive as well and they have their weaknesses which we need to exploit."

West Ham have not won at Anfield since 1963.

"That is long but it doesn't mean a lot to me," Bilic added.

"This is a new game and new players. What has happened over the last 52 years (is gone) but this is a completely new game."

Of more pressing concerns than history is West Ham's squad, which is depleted through injury, suspension and the release of Kevin Nolan, who captained the side against Bournemouth but is now looking for a new club.

Right-back Carl Jenkinson serves a one-match ban, joining Adrian in being suspended. The goalkeeper has two more games to sit out.

Striker Diafra Sakho (groin) should be available, but Enner Valencia (leg) and Mauro Zarate (hamstring) remain out.

Andy Carroll (knee) is back in training but unlikely to be selected until after the forthcoming international break, when the Hammers face his former club Newcastle.

Defender Joey O'Brien (calf) is nearing a return, too.

On Sakho, Bilic said: "We are hoping he will be (fit). He felt a stiffness in his adductors after Saturday's game, and he trained individually, but we expect him (to be okay) because it is not something major."

Bilic, though, believes the Hammers are down to the bare bones.

He added: "We are going to have a really good team to go out there. (But) in some positions we will have to hope that the players can last the 90 minutes."


From Belfast Telegraph