Boxing Day clash with Swansea is "so important", states Slaven Bilic

Boxing Day clash with Swansea is "so important", states Slaven Bilic

Slaven Bilic has stated that West Ham's clash with Swansea is "so important".

Danial Kennedy

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic stated that the Boxing Day clash with Swansea City is “so important” in the Hammers’ mission to climb the Premier League table.

Every game is important

After a very slow start to the campaign, it seems that the Hammers are back on track as they look to climb the Premier League table over a crucial festive period.

Two consecutive 1-0 victories over Burnley and Hull City respectively put them five points above the relegation zone. They face a tough trip to Swansea on Boxing Day, which Bilic reiterated the importance of the clash.  

“We have seven points from three games,” Bilic told “But now we have two games until the end of the first half of the season and I’m expecting us to be stronger.

“This is why this game on Boxing Day is so big,” he stated. “Christmas is a special time of the year.

“You have to train on Christmas Day because every game is so important,” Bilic added. “We will approach the next couple of games with confidence.”

Making a statement

The January transfer window is just around the corner and the rumours have been flying around the London Stadium, but they all haven’t been positive for Bilic.

The biggest rumour has been star man Dimitri Payet leaving East London, with the Frenchman having sated previously that he wouldn’t rule out an exit from the club.

There has been reported interest from Arsenal, but Bilic reaffirmed that the 29-year-old will remain a Hammer for the foreseeable future.

“That is our statement,” he said. “We don’t want to sell him. He is our top player and like with any other player. Especially great ones, there is speculation.”

He continued, “He has a long contract and we will do everything we can to ensure he stays with us.” The Croatian affirmed, “West Ham are showing a strong statement that we want to keep our best player but you can’t stop the speculation.

“We all knew it would happen - stories, rumours in the media,” Bilic concluded. “That’s why it was important the board said they wanted to keep him.”

West Ham United will visit Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Monday, December 26 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.