West Ham coach Slaven Billic has urged his team to give it their all as the London club plays host to Swansea City in the Premier League this weekend.
The game could very well determine the Hammers’ fate in the Premier League, as an abysmal run of five consecutive defeats including last weekend’s 3-0 rout by Arsenal now see them dangling just five points above the relegation zone ahead of the Swansea match.
Although Swansea now sits within the relegation zone, a win could see them cut their point gap against West Ham to two.
West Ham also holds the third-worst defensive record in the league currently with 57 goals against them in 31 games. While it is apparent that Slaven Billic’s future, along with his club’s, are becoming increasingly uncertain, the Croatian took responsibility for the situation.
“It is the manager’s responsibility. I am not talking about blame — there is no point talking about that,” the West Ham manager said. “It is my job to take those defeats on my chest and to prepare the team for our game against Swansea.”
“We have to put everything we have on the line,” Bilic said. “We have to forget about egos, about who is taking corners, forget about who is going to start the game, forget about who is going to score the goals.”
“We have to leave our egos in our beds and be as one. I am not saying we weren’t before – but now more than ever.”
Andy Carroll and Michail Antonio were withdrawn during the defeat to the Gunners due to a groin complaint and sickness respectively, But Bilic is hopeful the duo will be fit for the visit of the Swans.
“Andy Carroll felt a groin at half-time but it wasn’t major,” he said. “This morning it wasn’t worse so he has a good chance on Saturday.”
“Michail Antonio felt sick when we had lunch yesterday. He’s at home now but is feeling much better.”
West Ham United 2:1 Swansea City