Bilic confident of passage into Europa League group stages

Slaven Bilic is confident ahead of West Ham's Europa League play-off with Astra Giurgiu

Bilic confident of passage into Europa League group stages
Above: West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic in his pre-match press conference ahead of the game with Astra Giurgiu | Photo: Getty Images

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic, has said that he is confident of making the group stages of the Europa League, ahead of the second-leg of their play-off with Astra Giurgiu.

Everything is possible

Bilic's side traveled to Romania for the first-leg, off the back of their 2-1 opening league defeat to Chelsea, and were left frustrated by the eventual 1-1 draw in the Stadionul Marin Anastasovici.

Mark Noble gave the side the lead just before the break from the penalty, but the team that conquered in last season's play-off stage struck again with the late equaliser from Denis Alibec. The Hammers do come into the second leg with greater confidence, after their 1-0 win over Bournemouth, and Bilic is confident that they can make it through on Thursday night.

‚ÄčThe Croatian told whufc.com: “We should enter this game with that state of mind knowing it is one game and everything is possible," and was adamant with the club's website, "I expect us to build our confidence and to play a good game and beat Astra." and believes that “We should be confident and I expect us to win.”

Above: Andy Carroll lying on the pitch after picking up an injury in West Ham's 1-1 draw with Astra Giurgiu | Photo: BPI/Michael Zemanek
Above: Andy Carroll lying on the pitch after picking up an injury in West Ham's 1-1 draw with Astra Giurgiu | Photo: BPI/Michael Zemanek

Not panicking at this stage

Bilic has been given a selection headache, having suffered significant injuries this early into the season. Especially in the striking positions with long-term injuries to both Andre Ayew and Andy Carroll, and asked if he will look into the transfer market, Bilic admitted that he or the club will not panic.

“We have a couple of players we are trying to do a deal with. We are in a period where we are missing a number of our offensive players." Bilic admitted in his pre-match press conference.

Bilic concluded: “We are short of numbers and short of quality, but after the international break some of them should be back," and was firm in the belief “In terms of signing someone we are not panicking but if something good comes up for us quality wise and financial wise, we are going to act.”

West Ham United will take on Astra Giurgiu in the second-leg of their Europa League play-off at the London Stadium on Thursday, August 25 with kick-off at 7:45pm BST.