Speaking ahead of the game, Slaven Bilic gave his verdict on his team’s recent form, and some recently emerging team news from the West Ham camp, “We have to bounce back from the Manchester City defeat and make up for it on Saturday. It is a massive game.”
The Hammers were slain 5-0 by Pep Guardiola’s City side, as their FA Cup run came to a sharp end at the London Stadium last week.
With the FA Cup out of reach for West Ham this season, Bilic stressed the importance for his team to become more consistent in the Premier League.
“We want to pick up points and be safe as soon as possible.” Declared Bilic, West Ham currently sit 13th place, seven points from the relegation zone – not where they expected to be in comparison to last season’s flying league form.
Bilic continued to say: “We have a chance on Saturday to make the gap bigger with the teams below.”
West Ham currently have a six point lead over Saturday’s opponents, Crystal Palace.
Palace have been having some trouble of their own this season, without a win in their previous six Premier League games, the Eagles will - like West Ham - be looking to put things right on Saturday.
The Payet situation
Despite the important game this weekend, the press conference was dominated by the breaking news surrounding Dimitri Payet, “Payet does not want to play for us. We are not going to sell him.”
After signing a bumper contract last season, the news of course came as a shock to everyone associated with not only West Ham, but the Premier League also.
Payet is a critical player for West Ham, and quite often the metronome to their success, however, Bilic remained calm over the issue, “I have a team to manage. Until Payet changes his attitude, he’s out of my team.”
Another unpleasant press conference for Bilic, however, him and his team will be hoping for a win on Saturday to once again kick start West Ham’s league form, and route away from the negativity of transfers and poor form.